The Golden Age of Murder

  • by Martin Edwards
  • Narrated by Leighton Pugh
  • 16 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A real-life detective story, investigating how Agatha Christie and colleagues in a mysterious literary club transformed crime fiction, writing books casting new light on unsolved murders whilst hiding clues to their authors' darkest secrets.
This is the first book about the Detection Club, the world's most famous and most mysterious social network of crime writers. Drawing on years of in-depth research, it reveals the astonishing story of how members such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers reinvented detective fiction.
Detective stories from the so-called "Golden Age" between the wars are often dismissed as cosily conventional. Nothing could be further from the truth: some explore forensic pathology and shocking serial murders, others delve into police brutality and miscarriages of justice; occasionally the innocent are hanged, or murderers get away scot-free. Their authors faced up to the Slump and the rise of Hitler during years of economic misery and political upheaval, and wrote books agonising over guilt and innocence, good and evil, and explored whether killing a fellow human being was ever justified. Though the stories included no graphic sex scenes, sexual passions of all kinds seethed just beneath the surface.
Attracting feminists, gay and lesbian writers, Socialists and Marxist sympathisers, the Detection Club authors were young, ambitious, and at the cutting edge of popular culture - some had sex lives as bizarre as their mystery plots. Fascinated by real life crimes, they cracked unsolved cases and threw down challenges to Scotland Yard, using their fiction to take revenge on people who hurt them, to conduct covert relationships, and even as an outlet for homicidal fantasy. Their books anticipated not only CSI, Jack Reacher, and Gone Girl, but also Lord of the Flies.

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What the Critics Say

"Martin is increasingly recognised as one of Britain's most exciting crime writers." (Liverpool Daily Post)
"Edwards knows his business. He understands how to parcel out the clues and red herrings so as to feed the reader enough information to keep a variety of possibilities open, while making sure to prepare for a satisfying solution." (Seattle Post)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Classic. Brilliant. Enlightening.

When I read the title I thought it was a detective story. I was mistaken, it immediately became apparent it was the story of how the best kind of detective novelist created the books we see as classics today. It was hard not to listen to more as I found it so interesting.

If you like detective novels, this book will really give you an insight into the minds that wrote the classics.

(Well written and brilliantly articulated)
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- Nico

Fascinating insight into a the authors of the golden age

Highly recommended for anyone interested in the golden age detective genre. As a Big fan of Christie, Sayers and marsh I was gripped by the personal insight into their lives , relationships, motivations and demons. It has made me realise that I have only discovered the tip of the authors from the era and look forward to exploring others featured in the book.
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- ELISE

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-05-2015
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd