Since its appearance nearly two centuries ago, crime fiction has gripped readers' imaginations around the world. Detectives have varied enormously: from the nineteenth-century policemen (and a few women), through stars like Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple, to newly self-aware voices of the present - feminist, African American, lesbian, gay, postcolonial and postmodern. Stephen Knight's fascinating book is a comprehensive analytic survey of crime fiction from its origins in the nineteenth century to the present day. Knight explains how and why the various forms of the genre have evolved, explores a range of authors and movements, and argues that the genre as a whole has three parts – the early development of Detection, the growing emphasis on Death, and the modern celebration of Diversity. The expanded second edition has been thoroughly updated in the light of recent research and new developments, such as ethnic crime fiction, the rise of thrillers in the serial-killer and urban collapse modes, and feel-good 'cozies'. It also explores a number of fictional works which have been published in the last few years and features a helpful glossary. With full references, and written in a highly engaging style, this remains the essential short guide for readers of crime fiction everywhere!