Re: RARA-AVIS: Unrelated question:Hardboiled Mystery -- the health and welfare of ...

Mario Taboada (
Thu, 16 Jul 1998 06:32:24 +0000 Captain Bill:

<<A pro-cozy bias would mean the magazine is slanted in favour of these
tiresome books. The editor probably needs to go reread Raymond
Chandler's essay "The Simple Art of Murder.">>

While theoretically Chandler's essay gave the kiss of death to the cozy
genre, in practice it did not. Long before Chandler, Hammett had roasted
Van Dine in a very "hardboiled" review of one of his books.

Though I'm quite distant from the world of the cozy mystery, it seems to
me that these days the cozy is in part a sub-branch of the romance
genre. Whatever one thinks of the works of Agatha Christie and Dorothy
Sayers, they wrote puzzles, not romances - to their credit, I think.
Some of Christie'sher books are actually quite dark and nasty, not at
all "cozy". They could be converted into hardboiled or noir tales
without changing the plot or the basic attitudes of the characters. I
think the distinction between the classic cozy and the classic
hardboiled lies to a large extent in authorial voice, in the "slant" if
you will.

Regards, and I'm off the (pulp)it.

Mario Taboada
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