RARA-AVIS: Definitions

From: m23to53 ( library.john@virgin.net)
Date: 30 Jun 2007

Many thanks to Jim and gary for their deifintions. Most useful. It has also been suggested that I have look at John Cawelti's 'Adventure mystery and romance' (1976) which examines genre fiction. Does anyone have any views on the book, on how good, or whatever, it is? On the subject of fiction genres, the public libraries here in the UK have developed a scheme of classification for fiction to be used by all participating libraries. Not a bad idea I suppose, but I have second thoughts when I see Tom Clancy is in the crime list!

It is not noir, but I have just read James R. Langham's 'Pocketful of clues' (UK 1943, US 1941). I really enjoyed the book with Sammy Abbott, who works for the LA Attorneys Office, and his wife Ethel. Sammy discovers a murder which is seemingly insolvable and finds himself caught up in a second murder which takes precedence over the first. The twists and turns which solves the crimes are great and, though the book is not considered a great crime novel, I was surprised to see it was the author's second and last crime novel. It's not often I pick up a comparatively unknown crime novel and find it hard to put down. But do any of the historians amongst us know anything about Langham, apart from the fact he is supposed to have been born in 1912. I presume WW2 cut short his writing career? Seems probable, which is a shame as he had a certain style which would surely have improved if he had carried on writing.

Thanks John

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