From Library Journal
Magill's name has long been associated with critical surveys (e.g., in poetry, drama, and literary theory) and with the Masterplots series. This survey meets the standard of scholarly, in-depth analysis set by its predecessors. In a genre that continues to explode in popularity, this survey is a cornerstone of research and background material. It encompasses 280 authors who are synonymous with the genre, have made significant contributions to it, or have contributed to the genre though they are associated with another. Each entry is divided into several elements: basic personal information; principal series; description of main characters in each series; explanation of author's contribution to the genre; a 2500-word analysis of the principal works and characters; and a bibliography of mystery and of nonmystery works. The last volume contains a glossary of detective/mystery terms, indexes of subgenre and series characters, and an author/title/term index. Authors are listed by their mystery-genre pseudonym (e.g., Gore Vidal is listed as Edgar Box), but the index crossreferences pseudonyms with the author's better-known names. The information here is valuable, concise, and easy to find.
- Martin J. Hudacs, Towanda H.S., Pa.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.