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  • S5. The Rise of the Modern Detective Story

S5. The Rise of the Modern Detective Story

  • 06/14/2023
  • 07/19/2023
  • 5 sessions
  • 06/14/2023, 1:00 PM 2:30 PM (EDT)
  • 06/21/2023, 1:00 PM 2:30 PM (EDT)
  • 06/28/2023, 1:00 PM 2:30 PM (EDT)
  • 07/12/2023, 1:00 PM 2:30 PM (EDT)
  • 07/19/2023, 1:00 PM 2:30 PM (EDT)
  • Kennedy 119, Assumption University campus
  • 49


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The mystery/detective novel draws a wider audience of readers than just about any other genre. Why? And why do we often prefer one ”kind” of mystery ? This course will investigate the rise of the modern mystery novel and how it fell into sub-genres. We will look at the “Brilliant amateur sleuth”; the “cozy”; the “hard boiled American detective” and the “police procedural.” After reading these exemplar novels, we should be able to trace the DNA of your current favorite writers and share some titles.

Helen Whall joined the faculty at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA after finishing her Ph.D. at Yale University. There she taught Shakespeare and the Renaissance as well as modern drama, frequently writing on both subjects. Since retiring in 2017, Helen has offered several courses for WISE. 


All required, any editions

  • A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle for Class 1
  • The Body In the Library, Agatha Christie for Class 2
  • The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett for Class 3
  • Cop Hater, Ed McBain for Classes 4 + 5

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Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)
Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609

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