If you’re a crime fan within reach of London over the next few weeks, then you have a number of treats in store.
On 18 January, a new exhibition entitled ‘Murder in the Library: An A-Z of Crime Fiction’, opens in the Folio Society Gallery of the British Library. Entry is *free* and it runs until 12 May.
The exhibition is described thus on the British Library webpages: ‘Crime fiction, which currently accounts for over a third of all fiction published in English, holds millions of people enthralled. ‘Murder in the Library’ will take you on a fascinating journey through the development of crime and detective fiction, from its origins in the early 19th century through to contemporary Nordic Noir, taking in the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the first appearance of Miss Marple and the fiendish plots of Dr Fu Manchu along the way’.
Complementing the exhibition are a series of British Library events on crime:
‘Real Crime, Real Fiction’ Monday 21 January 2013, 18.30-20.00, at the Conference Centre, British Library: roundtable discussion with Barry Forshaw, authors Laura Wilson, Robert Ryan and Mark Billingham, and Carla Connolly, curator at St Bartholomew’s Pathology Museum. Questions considered include: ‘Does the consumption of crime novels influence the way we read about real crime? Where does ‘true crime’, which takes its inspiration from actual events rather than mere imagination, fit in? What is the impact of real-life crimes on the writing and production of crime fiction, both on television and in print?’
‘The Story of Crime Fiction’, Friday 8 February 2013, 18.30-20.00, at the Conference Centre, British Library: ’Mark Lawson, who recently wrote and presented BBC Radio 4 series Foreign Bodies: A History of Modern Europe Through Literary Detectives, is joined by crime fiction writers, P D James, Henry Sutton and Jason Webster to discuss the history of the genre, their favourite classics and their own work’.
‘The Female Detective’, Friday 8 March 2013, 18.30-20.00, at the Conference Centre, British Library: ‘Britain’s first-ever lady detective Miss Gladden appeared in The Female Detective published in 1864, where she exposed killers while concealing her own identity. Since then the female sleuth, from Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple to Alexander McCall Smith’s Mma Ramotswe, has captivated readers of crime fiction. But what is is about the female detective that makes her an icon of the genre? Join an esteemed panel of writers for an entertaining debate’.
Tickets are £7.50 (£5 concession) and can be booked via the British Library website.