A thrilling investigation of crime fiction from the early 1800s to the present day, featuring many of Britain's best known sleuths.

Crime fiction is not about the squalid details of a murder or the bungling incompetence of a police detective; it is about society, and what happens to it when order breaks down.

Britain, it is safe to say, has had a healthy fascination with this genre of fiction for over 200 years, and this exhibition at the British Library presents an A-Z of crime novels, from the gas-lit horrors of the Victorian era to the pulp paper backs of the 1930s. Locked rooms, monkeys, speckled bands and dark strangers from foreign lands, the peculiar world of the murder mystery is here in all its disquieting glory for the amateur criminologist to enjoy.

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