Literary Precedents for Body of Evidence

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Genre writing becomes an issue in the novel, because Beryl had gained a favorable reputation by writing historical romances, although Scarpetta dismisses her fiction as "the sort of pulp that was written almost to formula."

Reading the eventually discovered autobiographical manuscript, in contrast, leaves Scarpetta deeply moved.

Readers may wonder at the irony that Cornwell, a genre writer, opens her novel with the gruesome murder of a genre writer. A further irony is that Cornwell, a genre writer who earlier wrote a biography, treats an autobiography as Beryl Madison's best work.

Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye (1953) is another example of a genre novel that employs a besotted genre writer as a key character and thus offers a striking comparison to Body of Evidence. A less ironic and biting, more humorous and classical approach to murder among genre writers is Carolyn G. Hart's Death on Demand (1987).

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This section contains 147 words
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Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Body of Evidence from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.