Jesper Gulddal, Stewart King

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This chapter presents some of the classic accounts of the crime fiction genre and proceed from there to identify two contemporary shifts in how the genre is conceived. Genre is also a crucial factor when publishers assess manuscripts and position individual titles within commercial frameworks such as book series or sections in online or physical bookstores. The term “genre fiction” has a derogatory ring to it, suggesting that the individual books that make up the genre, in this case crime fiction, are defined substantially by their adherence to established devices and narrative patterns. The marketplace for crime fiction – and genre fiction more broadly – has traditionally been seen as a homogenising force, creating conventional and standardised products. The uses of the genre are multifarious and include the marketing strategies of publishers, the creative processes of authors and the reception practices of readers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Crime Fiction
EditorsJanice Allan, Jesper Gulddal, Stewart King, Andrew Pepper
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780429453342
ISBN (Print)9781138320352
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge Companions to Literature


  • genre
  • crime fiction
  • detective fiction
  • popular fiction

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