Review by Choice Review
Libraries selecting individual DLB volumes may well skip this unless they need illustrated discursive critical essays. For comprehensive reference information, 26 of the 35 authors discussed here are included in the main alphabet of Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers (TCCMW, 1980) and 4 more in its brief 19th-century appendix. This leaves only Grant Allen, Robert Barr, Angus Reach, George R. Sims, and H.G. Wells unique to DLB (and Allen, Reach, and Wells are in DNB--and Wells in many other sources). Criteria for inclusion are not stated but seem to be first publication in the genre by 1919, thus just excluding J.J. Connington and F.W. Crofts, whose life spans (and Connington's chemistry publications) match those of authors listed but whose first crime novels came in the 1920s. Both DLB and TCCMW list complete works for authors; TCCMW helpfully classifies them into crime fiction and other writing. Both include secondary bibliographies for the genre and for individual authors; DLB has more on individuals because articles as well as books are listed. Despite the word "biography" in its title, the DLB essays lack the full but concise (including posts and dates held) life summaries of TCCMW. This particular DLB volume is only for collections serving serious readers of early crime fiction who want critical opinion in addition to fact. -V. Clark, Choice
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