Never before has there been a comprehensive, inexpensive reference guide and overview to the genre of crime fiction like The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Crime Fiction. Veteran editor Mike Ashley's historical introduction gives an overview of the crime genre, showing the background and development of crime fiction from the earliest days with Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler through to the modern exponents of the craft such as Elmore Leonard and Ian Rankin. His A to Z covers five hundred entries on the major writers in the crime fiction field, from Edward S. Aarons to Mark Zubro, from the cult favorites to the best known, including Marjorie Allingham, Patricia Cornwell, Colin Dexter, Jim Thompson, and Minette Walters. The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Crime Fiction packs more information into its author entries than more expensive hardcover reference works. Each entry gives a brief biographical background with highlights for the cross-referenced key works, provides a full bibliography, and notes significant films/series adapted from their works. There are also added bonuses of a crime fiction glossary that defines the genre's special terms and expressions, such as "hardboiled," "impossible crime," and "police procedural" and four appendices covering key characters, key books and magazines, key films and TV series, and awards and award winners, including the Edgar Awards, the Dagger Awards, the Shamus Awards, and other important awards. Crime fiction buffs, mystery booksellers, and anyone interested in crime fiction will find The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Crime Fiction to be an indispensable reference and an unbeatable bargain.