While the current GAD revival undoubtedly rejoices me, I think some questions about it need to be raised if we want it to last and be viable.
First is, why is it occurring NOW? Contemporary crime fiction, at least the one that we're supposed to take seriously, is going noir full speed and the other subgenres are increasingly marginalized. So why are century-old, definitely non-edgy and non-gritty mysteries popular again?
Second, will it last? Is it a brief fashion craze like rockabilly was in the early 80s (remember the Stray Cats) or is GAD back to stay? I certainly hope for the latter but cannot exclude the former.
Third, can it spread? As one of this blog's faithful commenters pointed out, the revival is as of now largely a British affair thanks to the efforts of Martin Edwards and Tony Medawar and some courageous independent publishers like Dean Street Press or Blackheath. America is way behind and France, well, is France. I understand that Britain is closely associated with the Golden Age in most people's minds, but we all know that it is a cliché and one that had, and still has, nefarious editorial consequences.
Fourth and final, can it influence modern crime fiction? Unlike what most people think I don't particularly "dig" reading old books from the time before I was born; it's just that they're the only ones satisfying my needs as a reader. I'd just as much like to read more contemporary fare; the problem is, most of what is published these days is the kind of crime fiction that I don't like and critics and awards make repeatedly clear that they don't give a fig what I'm thinking and the few writers I like are not worthy. I'd be glad thus if the current GAD revival could bring out a new generation of mystery writers who really care about the mystery element of their work. We have seen some encouraging signs with the runaway successes of Magpie Murders and The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle but we're still a long way from a traditionalist mystery winning the Edgar.
These are for now the lines I'm thinking along. Your own answers are welcome.