RARA-AVIS: Re: RIP John Gardner

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 21 Aug 2007


Re your question below:

"My question would be, what crime is committed in The Spy Who Came In From The Cold? (Seriously, it's been a long time since I read it.)"

In the opening chapter, Leamas's informant is murdered through the machinations of the villain, East German Intelligence chief Mundt.

Prior to the opening scene, virtually all of Leamas's network has been murdered (not just arrested and held for trial, but murdered) by Mundt.

As for the "conventions of mystery," your term for a traditional whodunit plot, many spy novels are built around fair-play puzzles, Le Carre's TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY being perhaps the most famous example.

Others include every entry in William DeAndrea's Clifford Driscoll series (which, tellingly, was published by the Mysterious Press, a whole publishing company, not just a line, that specialized in crime fiction) and Robert Littell's THE COMPANY.

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt by even responding to this, but a part of me still doesn't believe you really mean this to be a serious discussion.


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