Literary Precedents for An Imperfect Spy

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The "Detective Novel of Manners" is the title of an essay written by Carolyn Heilbrun (Cross's pen-name) and contained in Hamlet's Mother and Other Women (1990). It contains her musings on the English class system, English imperialism, and detective fiction.

Themes and techniques used in An Imperfect Spy may be loosely traced to the work of John le Carre, particularly Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974). In this novel George Smiley works as a mole or double agent just like Harriet in An Imperfect Spy. The novel also has elements of Dorothy Sayers's Gaudy Night (1935), with its community of women scholars, the relationship of Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey as equals, and the theme of the female hero coming into her own. For a more contemporary look at female detectives, P. D. James's mystery, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1972) will provide insight into British female detective Cordelia...

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This section contains 208 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the An Imperfect Spy Short Guide
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An Imperfect Spy from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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