Literature: Competing Detectives - Miss Marple and V.I. Warshawski

Ref: C3533099

The Golden Age of Detective fiction and the hardboiled detective novel are two opposing forms of crime fiction, and Raymond Chandler famously criticized the Golden age novel in his essay ‘The Art of Murder’. We will consider the significance of the female detective by comparing an example from the Golden Age of detective fiction, Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple in The Moving Finger (1942) before concluding with the introduction of Sara Paretsky’s Private Eye V.I. Warshawski in Indemnity Only (1982). We will compare the differing time periods, geographical and social contexts ranging from Urban America to the sleepy English village, as well as exploring issues related to gender.

Course aim

To explore two different sub-genres of detective fiction.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

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

  • Approach literary texts in a critical way.
  • Make comparisons between sub-genres of detective fiction.
  • Consider the significance of geographical and social context in relation to writings of Agatha Christie and Sara Paretsky.
  • Discuss representations of gender in the set texts.
  • Participate in group discussion.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

You will need a copy of each of the following novels: Agatha Christie, The Moving Finger Sara Paretsky, Indemnity Only Any other readings will be provided on Canvas.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Literature: Competing Detectives - Miss Marple and V.I. Warshawski

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