English 157 - Fall, 2017

Detective Fiction

Class Information

Instructor: Dobbins, Gregory
CRN: 62660
Time: MWF 11:00-11:50
Location: 158 Olson


    The detective novel is one of the more enduring forms of popular fiction, and this course will present a survey of the genre through an examination of clusters of writers associated with some of its more prominent historical phases. Through the course of the quarter we will read representative writers associated with the origins of detective novel in the 19th Century (Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle), the 'Golden Age' of the British mystery novel (Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers), the American 'hard-boiled' detective novel and 'noir' fiction (Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler), and both American and British neo-noir (Derek Raymond, James Ellroy, Walter Mosley and Megan Abbott).


    Two essays, a short writing assignment, occasional quizzes, and a final exam.


    The Sign of the Four, Arthur Conan Doyle
    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie
    Strong Poison, Dorothy Sayers
    The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
    The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
    He Died With His Eyes Wide Open, Derek Raymond
    L.A. Confidential, James Ellroy
    Devil in a Blue Dress, Walter Mosley
    Dare Me , Megan Abbott