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Agatha Christie and the golden age of detective fiction
Agatha Christie and the golden age of detective fiction

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3 Structures of detective fiction

You have now had a chance to think about the inter-war contexts of golden age detective fiction and review key issues such as the role of women in the pioneering development of the genre in this period. In the process you’ve seen how contexts such as the First World War and contemporary social changes in Britain are useful in reading detective fiction. Some critics would argue, however, that the form and distinctive structural rules of detective fiction are just as important as critical reference points, and in the following section you will take a closer look at one aspect of form that came to define crime writing of this period: the clue–puzzle narrative.