The Enduring Appeal of the Mystery Story

The critic Tzvetan Todorov once suggested that the trick to writing a successful detective story was being sure not to innovate. The great genre work is that which best and most closely follows the “rules” of its genre; to refine the genre, he cautioned, would be “to write ‘literature’” rather than a mystery. But surely […]

Oli Belas is a teacher, writer, and independent academic. He lives in Walthamstow (north-east London) with his ever-supportive and endlessly patient wife, Sarah. He has written about popular science, detective, and African American fiction, and literary theory/philosophy. When time and geography allow, Oli works with his friend, artist Rene Daigle. Their first joint effort is the illustrated essay "The Enduring Appeal of the Mystery Story" (published in Litro Magazine), and they have plans for some illustrated, noir-ish fiction.