Re: RARA-AVIS: Procedurals (was: Jonathan Craig)

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 10 Aug 2002

----- Original Message ----- From: "Mark Sullivan" <>

> Al wrote:
> "I suspect that the Police Procedural would make an excellent Theme of
> the Month. Personally, I'm looking for an excuse to read some Bill
> James, John Wainright, some more Maj Sjowall, more Rankin, . . ."
>Mark wrote:
> While I like the idea, I've got to ask if Rankin's books really qualify
> as procedurals. It seems to me that John Rebus is pretty seat of the
> pants in his investigative style and intuitive leaps.

Probably not. I'm extremely ill-informed when it comes to what constitutes a police procedural. The Pete Selby (Jonathan Craig) I'm reading at the moment employs some strange and intuitive leaps, but it's a procedural despite being unlike any of the Ed McBain's I've read. Are the Rebus novels police non-procedurals? Can you have a police procedural with a maverick central character? If anyone has a definition, I'd like to hear it.

Ian Rankin has a (relatively) new website up at Looks good. Apparently, when he wrote his first Rebus novel he wasn't even aware of "crime" as a genre, let alone the notion of sub-genres.


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