Detective Genre in the West and in Russia

Olga Osmukhina, Svetlana Gudkova


The article is devoted to the study of the history of the detective genre in literature formation. The term "detective" is still controversial in literature studies. Academicians distinguish different subgenres of detective works, in this case taking into account synthesis of storyline model of psychological, adventurous, and spying novels. An important feature of the detective genre is the completeness of the facts: the solution of the mystery cannot be based on the information that was not provided to a reader during the investigator’s description. Hence, readers should have enough information to find a solution on their own. Studies on detective genre have appeared in the West first. Its arrival to Russia occurred in the 1990s. The authors analyze the theoretical works devoted to the detective genre, identify the most important features of the classic and postmodern detective genre, as well as identify the key steps in the formation of literature on detective genre. The article states that the founder of the detective genre was E. A. Poe. Then this genre has developed in England (A. Conan Doyle, A. Christie), in France (S. Japrisot, Georges Simenon), the U.S. (Hammett, Chase), and Russia (R. Ovals, R., Kim, Y. Semenov, br. Weiners, D. Koretsky, N. Leonov, B. Akunin, etc.). Herewith, during the transition to the 21st century, this genre has experienced significant changes regarding the leading character: a hero is not a police officer but an amateur investigator with a strong personality, analytical mind and outstanding abilities.

Anahtar Kelimeler

Genre, Detective novel, Western literature, Russian literature, Postmodernism, Hero-detective

Tam Metin:

PDF (English)


Adamov, A. (1980). My favorite genre is detective. [Electronic resource]. URL: http://

Ahmanov, O. Yu. (2011). Genre strategy of detective in Peter Ackroyd’s works (Dissertation). Kazan.

Amiryan, T. N. (2012). Conspiracy detective as a genre of postmodern literature (D. Brown, A. Revazov, Yu. Kristeva) (Dissertation). Moscow.

Ancyferova, O. Yu. (1994). Detective genre and romantic art system. In Chugunova, N. A. (eds.), National specificity of foreign literature works of XIX−XXth centuries, (pp.21-36). Ivanovo. ISBN 5-230-02241-8.

Andzhaparidze, G. A. (1986). The world of Agatha Christie. In Christie A. The Mystery of Sittaford: Novels, plays, short stories, (pp. 659-671). St. Petersburg: Lenizdat.

Chandler, R. (1959). The Simple Art of Murder. London: Constable.

Chernyak, M. A. (2005). Phenomenon of mass literature of the XXth century. St. Petersburg: Publishing house of A. I. Herzen RGPU. ISBN 5-8064-0924-4.

Chernyak, M. A. (2007). Mass literature of the XXth century. Moscow: Nauka. ISBN 978-5-02-034661-1.

Chernyak, M. A. (2009). Domestic prose of the XXIst century: preliminary results of the first decade. Moscow: SAGA. ISBN 978-5-9754-0021-5.

Crimson-Smith, A. J. (1955). Detective novel. In defense of the world. No. 44-45, (pp.46-58).

Detective Novels (1975). A Game and Life. Soviet Literature, 3, 142-150.

Freeman, R. A. (1924). The Art of the detective story. London.

Haycraft, H. (1943). Murder for Pleasure: The Life and Times of The Detective Story. London.

Irwin, J. (1994). The mystery to a solution: Poe, Borges, and the analytic detective story. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Knox, R. (1990). Ten commandments of detective fiction. How to make a detective, Translations from English, French, German, Spanish, With G. Andzhaparidze’s afterword, (pp. 77-79). Moscow: Raduga.

Kyostheji, T. (1989). Detective’s anatomy. Budapest.

Mazin, A. (2009). "The Brilliance and poverty" of the detective genre [Electronic resource]. URL:

Most, G. W., & Stowe, W. W. (1983). The Poetics of Murder: Detective Fiction and Literary Theory. San Diego. ISBN-10: 0156723123 (ISBN-13: 9780156723121).

Nikolaev, D. D. (2003). Detective. Nikolyukin, A. N. (ed.), Literary encyclopedia of terms and concepts, (pp.221-223). Moscow: NPK "Intelvak". ISBN 5-93264-026-Х.

Osmukhina, O. Y. (2019). The image of the hero-detective: the specificity of the interpretation of literature and modern cinema. Philological Sciences. Questions of theory and practice, (pp.389-393). Tambov: Gramota, No. 2 (12). ISSN 1997-2911.

Osmukhina, O. Yu. (2016). Specifics of Boris Akunin's author's strategy: genre aspect. Eurasian scientific Association: Perspective directions of modern science development, 3(15), (pp.143-147).

Pearson, J. (1966). The Life of Yan Fleming. London.

Romanchuk, L. (2002) Chesterton's novelistic cycle [Electronic resource]. URL:

Rudnev, V. P. (1999). Encyclopedic dictionary of twentieth century culture: Key concepts and texts. Moscow: Agraf. ISBN 5-7784-0034-9.

Russell, R. (1982). Red Pinkertonism: An Aspect of Soviet Literature of the 1920-s. Slavonic and East European Review, 6, 390-412. ISSN 0037-6795.

Sarukhanyan, A. P. (2005). Detective. In Sarukhanyan A. P. (eds.), Encyclopedic dictionary of English literature of the twentieth century. A. M. Gorky World Literature Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, (pp. 142-148). Moscow: Nauka. ISBN 5-02-033255-0.

Shcheglov, Yu. K. (1962). To the construction of a structural model of Sherlock Holmes novels. Symposium on the structural study of sign systems. Thesis of reports, (pp.153-155). Moscow: Publishing house of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

Symons, J. (1992). Bloody Murder: From the Detective Story to the Crime Novel (3rd ed.). New York: Mysterious Press.

Tamarchenko, N. D. (2008). Detective prose. In Tamarchenko, N. D. (eds.), Poetics: dictionary of actual terms and concepts, (pp.55-56). Moscow: Kulagina publishing house; Intrada.

Van Dajn, S. S. (1990). Twenty rules for writing detective stories. How to create a detective. Translations from English, French, German, Spanish, With G. Andzhaparidze’s afterword, (pp. 38-41). Moscow: Raduga.

Volsky, N. N. (2006). Mysterious logic. Detective as a model of dialectical thinking. Light reading. Works on the theory and history of the detective genre (pp. 5-126). Novosibirsk: NGPU. ISBN: 5-85921-590-8.

Vulis, A. (1978). The Poetics of the detective [Electronic resource]. URL:

Walker, R. G., & Frazer, J. M. (eds.) (1990). The Cunning Craft: Original Essays on Detective Fiction and Contemporary Literary Theory. Macomb: Western Illinois University.



  • Şu halde refbacks yoktur.

Telif Hakkı (c) 2020 Journal of History Culture and Art Research

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.