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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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In this free course, you have considered the importance of the post-war detective fiction boom of the 1920s, the dawn of the ‘golden age’ of the genre and the importance in particular of Agatha Christie as the leading figure among its female pioneers.

You have examined the ways in which the clue–puzzle narrative dominated, and interrogated notions of the ‘cozy’ and the provincial in Christie’s work, as well as the context of the readers themselves as an active force in the reception and transmission of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and its controversial experiment with the formal boundaries of clue–puzzle narratives.

In studying this material, you have acquired a detailed milestone in the birth of modern detective fiction. Hopefully you will have picked up skills which allow you to read this kind of fiction in a different way and, perhaps, to experiment with plotting your own. Christie’s strategies are relevant to a wide range of popular fiction (most of the Harry Potter novels are ‘clue puzzle’ whodunnit narratives, after all) and permeate the world of television and film. Now you are part of the Detection Club, you may find yourself applying the old ‘rules’ to familiar stories …

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course A893 MA English Literature Part 1 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .