26 January 2013

Murder in the British Library: An A-Z of Crime Fiction

Murder in the Library: An A-Z of Crime Fiction is a small exhibition at the British Library that caught my eye.

My interest in crime fiction comes more from the TV adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, Lord Peter Wimsey, Adam Dalglish, Miss Marple, et all and that was enough when combined with my experience of previous exhibitions at the British Library to pull me in.

The exhibition is on one of the funny landings between the entrance and the reading rooms near to the cafe. It is generally accessible to the public and is free to enter.

It consists of 26 alphabetical displays of around A3 size. These covered topics like Agatha Christie, Kidnapping, Locked Rooms and Villains.

In each case it explained the history of the theme, e.g. the first story to feature a murder in a room locked from the inside (which is The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe), gave examples of where else it was used and described how the trope developed.

For somebody who has read none of the books mentioned, not even the Enid Blyton, I was surprised at just how interesting it was and I read every word on every display.

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