Classics of Crime Fiction


Detective fiction is a form of story developed in the nineteenth century to respond to the new threats and anxieties of urban society. In London, the largest of the new great cities of Western mercantile society, where nobody knew anyone else reliably, and any hand might be against your property or your life, the police were established as a real-world protection in 1829. But humble policing was not potent enough in mythic terms, and writers invented knowledgeable specialists to identify the enemies of society through a mix of close observation and the aura of science.

Starts: April 23, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Some Velvet Morning 123 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill VIC 3068
Format: Presentation - 45 minutes, open discussion - 45 minutes

Edgar Allan Poe, the three 'Dupin' stories, in Tales of Mystery and Imagination, 1841-5: 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue', 'The Mystery of Marie-Roget', 'The Purloined Letter'

April 23, 2013 Lecturer: Stephen Knight
presentation - 45 minutes, open discussion - 45 minutes

Download and read The Murders in the Rue Morgue Download and read The Mystery of Marie-Roget Download and read The Purloined Letter

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Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1891-2: 'A Case of Identity', 'The Speckled Band', 'The Cardboard Box'

April 30, 2013 Lecturer: Stephen Knight
presentation - 45 minutes, open discussion - 45 minutes

Download and read A Case of Identity Download and read The Speckled Band Download and read The Cardboard Box

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Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, 1939

May 14, 2013 Lecturer: Stephen Knight
presentation - 45 minutes, open discussion - 45 minutes

Download and read a synopsis of 'The Big Sleep' written by and copyright to Stephen Knight.

Sara Paretsky, Indemnity Only, 1982

May 21, 2013 Lecturer: Stephen Knight
presentation - 45 minutes, open discussion - 45 minutes

Download and read a synopsis of 'Indemnity Only' written by and copyright to Stephen Knight.

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Peter Temple, The Broken Shore, 2005

May 28, 2013 Lecturer: Stephen Knight
presentation - 45 minutes, open discussion - 45 minutes

Download and read a synopsis of 'The Broken Shore' written by and copyright to Stephen Knight.

Agatha Christie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, 1926

July 5, 2013 Lecturer: Stephen Knight
presentation - 45 minutes, open discussion - 45 minutes

Download and read a synopsis of 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd' written by and copyright to Stephen Knight.

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