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Thursday, May 10, 2012

What Does Hardboiled Really Mean?

Authors, publishers, and librarians throw around terms like hardboiled and noir with great frequency when they are breaking down mysteries into smaller, subgenres.  Unlike terms like cozy which quite clearly conjure up a picture of what one can expect from a mystery with that designation (calm, tea and coookies, curling up with a good book), hardboiled is less clear (does the detective has a harden yellow center?).

And then you add noir into the mix, and it gets very confusing.

But never fear, help is a click away.  Over on Critical Element, the hardboiled mystery writer Max Allan Collins, has this great essay explaining it all quite clearly.

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