ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MYSTERY AND DETECTION by Chris & Otto Penzler Steinbrunner


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This does not have the informed if idiosyncratic charm of the Barzun and Taylor A Catalogue of Crime (1971), or its exhaustiveness (2000 as against their 3500 entries). It is much more media-oriented, taking in radio, films, comic strips, theater, even critics--though Howard Haycraft, who did the first book of this kind, is not included. Steinbrunner is a WOR-TV film director and an important figure in the MWA; Penzler's a free-lance writer. There are surprising inclusions (Balzac because of his policeman-ex-convict Vidocq, Gwen Bristow) and exclusions--say Celia Fremlin, one of the most accomplished writers of domesticidal terror--while Doris Miles Disney is there. Also missing are such newer writers as Michael Lewin and Robert B. Parker--each with three books, one of which received major newsweekly coverage. As for opinion, take it from the fact that John Creasey is tagged ""memorable."" But there will be lots of illustrations--photos, stills, dust jackets--to catch the eye; and its primary value will be for those involved in films and television, rather than for the devotee who turned the pages of Barzun and Taylor with the enjoyment they themselves manifested in the enterprise.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1976
Publisher: McGraw-Hill