Burial Plots in British Detective Fiction
Burial Plots in British Detective Fiction offers an overview of the ways in which the past is brought back to the surface and influences the present in British detective fiction written between 1920 and 2020. Exploring a range of authors including Agatha Christie, Patricia Wentworth, Val McDermid, Sarah Caudwell, Georgette Heyer, Dorothy Dunnett, Jonathan Stroud and Ben Aaronovitch, Lisa Hopkins argues that both the literal and literary disinterment of the past use elements of the national past to interrogate the present. As such, in the texts discussed, uncovering the truth about an individual crime is also typically an uncovering of a more general connection between the present and the past. Whether detective novels explore murders on archaeological digs, hauntings, cold crimes or killings at Christmas, Hopkins explores the underlying message that you cannot understand the present unless you understand the past.