I am planning to have a series of articles about detective fiction on this site as it is, in my opinion, the most conservative of all genres, a proposition that I shall argue at a later date. As ever, this is also an appeal to readers: if there is anybody out there who is thinking of writing anything about a detective story or thriller writer or about the genre or any part of it in general, do please send it to me and I shall put it up on this site and publicize it as well as I can.
To start with I should like to quote P. D. James, possibly the best known and most highly regarded writer of detective fiction in Britain and other countries at present. A couple of years ago she wrote a slim volume (unlike her most recent novels, which are not just fat but obese) about the genre as a whole. I intend to write about this book as it is of interest to anyone who is interested in the genre and in conservative ideas. For the moment, however, I should like to quote two paragraphs that appear towards the end and sum up the subject:
And here in the detective story we have a problem at the heart of the novel, and one which is solved, not by luck or divine intervention, but by human ingenuity, human intelligence and human courage. It confirms our hope that, despite some evidence to the contrary, we live in a beneficent and moral universe in which problems can be solved by rational means and peace and order restored from communal or persona disruption and chaos.One can but hope. We are sadly in need of some sort of a Golden Age.
And if it is true, as the evidence suggests, that the detective story flourishes best in the most difficult of times, we may well be at the beginning of a new Golden Age.