08/03/2014

Sigh

CADS 67 arrived this week and it's all great stuff as usual. I could have done without Mike Ripley dissing traditional mysteries, though. He writes:

The idea of a novel as an artificial puzzle, a literary parlor game or an extended cryptic crossword did not appeal to me: then or now. I am firmly of the opinion that the so-called Golden Age of that sort of English detective story ended in 1949 when it was replaced by the board game Cluedo. Not, in my opinion, a moment to soon. ("Albert & I", p.11)

Traditional mystery fans often have to deal with such attacks. "Modernists", especially those of the hardboiled/noir persuasion, never waste an occasion to badmouth the Golden Age and what few "classicists" are still working today - even though they have largely won the war and most contemporary crime fiction is under the shadow of Raymond Chandler rather than Agatha Christie. Are they feeling insecure, or do they just have fun shooting an ambulance? I don't know. But I'm certainly surprised (and somewhat upset) to encounter such comments in a periodical that does so much for the cause of older mysteries.