The Crime Festival

The crime novelist interview I went to this week was fascinating. And while I’m sure I would have found it interesting at any time, I was able to get so much more out of it considering that they were discussing topics that we have been covering in class and referencing texts that I am now familiar with. Of particular interest to me was the conversation on why the Victorian time period is so effective a setting for crime novels. Their comments rang true with me as I analyzed what I enjoy about the novels we’ve been reading. We love the glamor of the Victorian ages- only set off more by the contrast there was between the rich and the poor. And corresponding part of that glamor was the aspect of appearances and reputation. We all identify with potentially embarrassing habits in our lives that we don’t mention to anyone but intimate friends and family; but during this period, revelation of these secrets was social suicide that there was no way to recover from. Though I hadn’t spent a lot of time pondering this concept, I now think that it’s a quintessential part of novels set in the time period. It adds quite a bit more suspense to crime novels because of the many mysteries that must be solved before you arrive at the truth.


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