The University of Wisconsin Press

Popular Culture


Comic Crime
Edited by Earl F. Bargainnier

Popular Culture

Earl Bargainnier has once again combined brilliant writers with an unbeatable theme. These authors have studied and written about many different aspects of the whodunits. Bargainnier brings them together here to explore the various punch lines of crime and mystery novels.

The humor of Sherlock Holmes, Donald Westlake, Agatha Christie, Michael Innes, and Edmund Crispin are just a few of those discussed. A major point highlighted by this book is simply that wit, slapstick, laughter, and an anything-can-happen motif appear in a significant amount of fiction about crime.

It's not a crime and it is no mystery—there is something funny to laugh about in mystery and crime novels!

Earl F. Bargainnier was Fuller E. Callaway Professor of English Language and Literature at Wesleyan College. A former president of the Popular Culture Association, he was the author of more than sixty articles and The Gentle Art of Murder: The Detective Fiction of Agatha Christie. He edited Ten Women of Mystery and Twelve Englishmen of Mystery and co-edited Cops and Constables. Professor Bargainnier died January 3, 1987.

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Cover of book is black with an image of a mask with a bloody knife going through its mouth.

LC: 87-071031 PS
202 pp. 6 x 9
ISBN-13: 978-0-87972-383-5
Cloth $29.95 t
ISBN-13: 978-0-87972-384-2
Paper $14.95 t

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Updated February 5, 2010

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