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“Hammett took murder out of the Venetian vase and dropped it into the alley; it doesn’t have to stay there forever, but it was a good idea to get as far as possible from Emily Post’s idea of how a well-bred debutante gnaws a chicken wing.”
—Raymond Chandler ‘The Simple Art of Murder’

This site began life as a supporting site for two books: 100 American Crime Writers and 100 British Crime Writers. These books are edited respectively by Steven Powell and Esme Miskimmin and will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in their Crime Files series. The blog is edited and maintained primarily by Steven and Chris Routledge.

Sample entries from the books are now available here:

Horace McCoy

Mignon G. Eberhart

About the Editors

Steven Powell

I’m a crime fiction fanatic and freelance writer. I completed a PhD on the life and work of James Ellroy in 2013. In addition to this blog, I have written for such online publications as The Rap Sheet and The Reader Online. I’ve also written on politics and culture for the British Politics Review. I have edited the books Conversations with James Ellroy for University of Mississippi Press as part of their Literary Conversations Series and 100 American Crime Writers as part of Palgrave Macmillan’s Crime Files Series. Conversations with James Ellroy features interviews Ellroy has given over the course of his literary career and includes a series of previously unpublished interviews I personally conducted with Ellroy. You can order a copy here or here. 100 American Crime Writers is an anthology of short biographies of the greatest and most influential American crime writers from Edgar Allan Poe to contemporary writers such as Megan Abbott. It is available for purchase here. You can contact me at stevenpowellwriting (at) gmail (dot) com.

 Chris Routledge is a freelance writer, editor and academic whose 1998 PhD dissertation was on Raymond Chandler. In the 1990s and early 2000s he published several academic articles on crime fiction, including this one. He is also co-editor, with Adrienne Gavin, of Mystery in Children’s Literature (Palgrave, 2001).

His most recent book is a history of the Robert Cain Brewery in Liverpool entitled Cain’s: The Story of Liverpool in a Pint (Liverpool University Press, 2008). With Siobhan Chapman he is co-editor of Key Thinkers in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language (Edinburgh University Press, 2005) and Key Ideas in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language (Edinburgh University Press, 2009). He is blogging about his latest project at Letters to Elizabeth and his personal website is here.

Venetian Vase Columnist

Diana Powell’s PhD (2012) was on the influence of Sir Walter Scott on the Oxford (Tractarian) Movement. Aside from Victorian fiction, Diana has research interests in American crime fiction and women in crime fiction. She taught the course ‘The Female Dick: Women in Crime Fiction’ (Winter 2013)  is currently teaching ‘Women in British and Scandinavian Crime Fiction’ at  University of Liverpool Continuing Education.

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