Literary Precedents for Devil in a Blue Dress

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Mosley's work is scarcely akin to that of the so-called "classic" mystery writers like E. C. Bentley, Arthur Conan Doyle, Erle Stanley Gardner, Agatha Christie, or Ellery Queen.

Those writers depict criminal activity as a disruption to a perceived stable social order, the detective hero or heroine being a puzzle-solver who restores the underlying harmony by means of a highly rational approach to evidence and clues. Devil in a Blue Dress and its sequels belong rather to the noir, hardboiled tradition pioneered by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, and carried forward by such writers as Brett Halliday, Mickey Spillane, Chester Himes, Ross Macdonald, John D. MacDonald. Writers in this tradition typically depict society as corrupt, with the detective hero in his investigations uncovering evidence to that effect.

A nonmystery precedent to Mosley's novels is The Invisible Man (1952) by Ralph Ellison, which treats the African American experience. An African...

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This section contains 289 words
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Buy the Devil in a Blue Dress Study Guide
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