Murder in the Library: An A-Z of Crime Fiction – British Library

The British Library is open late on Tuesday evenings, and I took advantage of this to pay a visit to the small, free exhibition Murder in the Library: An A-Z of Crime Fiction in the Folio Gallery. The exhibition looks at crime fiction throughout the ages, from the first crime novels in the nineteenth century, through the genteel mysteries of the early to mid twentieth century and ending with the ‘Nordic Noir’ craze of modern times. The exhibition was made up of manuscripts and early editions of some interesting crime novels, including the first book to feature a professional lady detective, The Female Detective by Andrew Forrester, first published in 1864, and a manuscript of one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories.  I read lots of Enid Blyton as a child and was pleased to see some of her books included too, such as the Five Find-Outers series. I was also interested to see one of Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano novels – after watching the TV series I wouldn’t mind reading some of the books.