RARA-AVIS: Re: form/formula

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 29 Jan 2008


Re your comment below:

"I think Constantine' s work has staying power. And to define his novels as 'police procedurals' seems quaintly inadequate."

His work certainly has staying power, but to describe the designation "police procedural" as "quaintly inadequate" suggests that a police procedural can never be a "progessively social study of people in a particular time and place."

In fact, it strikes me that it's in the police procedural, the most rigorously naturalistic of all mystery sub-genres, that you are MOST likely to find such studies.

It has been observed, for example, that Ed McBain's depiction of NYC in his 87th Precinct series, for all that he pretends that the place isn't NYC at all, is the best sustained literary examination of that city, and its people, anywhere in fiction.

One could say the same of Ellroy's Los Angeles in the
'50's, of Wainwright's West Yorkshire in the '60's and
'70's, and of Procter's Manchester in the '50's and


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