Detective Fiction

Ref: C3672323

This course investigates the trappings of the detective fiction genre from the nineteenth century to the modern day. We will use our powers of deduction to analyse the literature of murder, mystery and mayhem. Deerstalkers optional. Reading list: Edgar Allen Poe, The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841), The Cask of Amontillado (1846) Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone (1868) Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Adventure of the Speckled Band’ and ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’ from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express (1934) and The Body in the Library (1942) Raymond Chandler , The Big Sleep (1939) Walter Mosley, Devil in a Blue Dress (1990) Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night (1935) Sara Paretsky, Indemnity Only (1982) Peter Hoeg, Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow (1992) Sarah Waters, Affinity (1999)

Course aim

To provide an introduction to detective fiction.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for anyone who enjoys reading and discussing fiction.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Confidently discuss the themes, conventions and devices commonly used in Western detective fiction.
  • Demonstrate critical 'close reading' skills.
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Please purchase and read the texts on the reading list. Some of these can be found online. Contact the tutor for further information.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • See reading list.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full Course information sheet

Detective Fiction


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing