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Benjamin Bunny, P.I.

I've never liked detective fiction. Like Joseph Epstein I don't really care whodunit, unless I can know more about the who and what it is exactly they've done. For me, literature is about learning a little bit more about human beings, not solving logic or plot puzzles. If I want to do that, I'll watch them on TV. (The exception is, of course, Chesterton's mysteries which I've never found that interesting as mysteries.) I do, however, like reading Jon Breen's regular updates on the genre in The Weekly Standard. This week, Breen takes on the burgeoning group of mysteries in which the detective is a historical character, and often a writer--like Chaucer, Shakespeare, Poe, Agatha Christie, and Dickens. Breen has many good things to say about the general nature of historical fiction, but he is also very amusing. Regarding my favorite use of a historical character as a detective, Beatrix Potter of Peter Rabbit fame, Breen writes:

While I normally draw the line at talking animals in an adult mystery, in this context they seem unavoidable.

Read the whole article here.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 1, 2005 4:31 PM.

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