An English country estate. A detective pacing the room, explaining how they have solved the crime, revealing the solution to a puzzle and the clues which were there all along.
It’s so easy to parody this scene because it’s so familiar.
It’s Reverend Green in the drawing room with the candlestick.
It’s a shocking murder in a cosy English village or the country estate of a well-off family…where everyone is as suspect.
It’s the locked room mystery, where the puzzle is always the centre of the story.
So, where do all these familiar ideas come from exactly?
What do we mean when we talk about Golden Age Detective Fiction?
And are our assumptions about the tropes and rules of this fiction really all the accurate?
This week I’m joined by Caroline Crampton, creator of the podcast Shedunnit to explore Agatha Christie, the rules of detective fiction, the problem with spoilers, and more.
Caroline Crampton is a freelance writer, editor and podcaster. She writes for a variety of publications, including the New Statesman, the i newspaper, Prospect, the Mail on Sunday, the Guardian and the New Humanist.
You can find more about her work on her website.
She is also the creator of Shedunnit, a wonderful podcast all about Golden Age Detective Fiction. If you enjoyed this episode you’ll definitely like her show.
Works & Authors Mentioned
Fallet (TV Show)
Martin Edwards: The Golden Age of Murder
Agatha Christie: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Ronald Knox’s10 Commandments of Detective Fiction
SS Van Dine’sRules for Writing Detective Fiction
Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express
Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None
TV & Film Clips
Murder on Orient Express (1974) trailer
Murder She Said (1961) trailer
Poirot (David Suchet)
Murder Most Foul trailer
Music this week was
- Overhead, The Albatross (Learning To Growl): Telekinetic Forest Guard
- Overhead, The Albatross (Learning To Growl): Theme For A Promise
- Francesco Turrisi (Si Dolce e’ il Tormento) Ciaccona
- 3epkano (Hans The Reluctant Wolf Juggler) Colonel Mustard
Looking for more detective fiction? Try this episode on Baroness Orczy and early female detective fiction.
Maybe some Cesare Lombroso and a bit of Victorian crime?
Or maybe you like your crime a bit more contemporary? This episode on domestic noir has you covered.
If you enjoy the episode and want to find out how to support the show then click here for more information.
Words To That Effect is a member of the Headstuff Podcast Network. Check out all the great podcasts here