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Literature expert raises questions around depiction of race and gender in crime fiction

A University of Gloucestershire contemporary literature specialist, whose works include studies of British icons Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has raised new questions around how cultural and social issues are represented in crime fiction novels.

Dr Charlotte Beyer, Senior Lecturer in English Studies within the University’s School of Education and Humanities, highlights how British crime fiction novels are a key source of discussion and debate around race, class, sexuality and gender in her ninth book Intersectionality and Decolonisation in Contemporary British Crime Fiction.

Dr Beyer’s previous works include Murder in a Few Words: Gender, Genre and Location in the Crime Short Story, and edited books Mothers Who Kill and Teaching Crime Fiction. She has also published on Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Last September she gave a talk to a large audience of crime fiction enthusiasts at the International Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay.

Along with her extensive research, Dr Beyer is a judge on the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association’s annual Dagger Awards, where she sits on the historical crime fiction panel with other experts in the field.

Dr Beyer said: “I have always been fascinated by how we can gain a deeper understanding of cultural and social issues of the past and present through a detailed analysis of crime novels and short stories in context.

“My new book, Intersectionality and Decolonisation in Contemporary British Crime Fiction, examines representations of race, class, sexuality, and gender in selected contemporary British crime fiction novels from the 1990s to 2018.

“I hope it offers researchers, scholars and students of the crime genre and British literature timely critical engagement with intersectionality and decolonisation and their representation in contemporary British crime fiction.”