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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 16 reviews
on July 10, 2017
I just my copy. It is an ok reference book. It has no photos or illustrations, (which would help). It overlooks some authors and includes others, (for some reason). Also, it has definition for q.t. and ,45, (why)? I wish it was better. Good addition anyway.
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on September 27, 2013
I'm a mystery fan and love to learn about the author of my favorite novels. I also enjoy discovering books and authors I'd never heard of. This encyclopedia great for both those purposes. The encyclopedist is not shy about expressing his opinions and preferences. That helps to make this a surprisingly readable reference book that can be read for simple pleasure. Repeatedly, I have looked something up and wound up reading a half dozen or more entries.
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on January 11, 2007
Most of us might anticipate an effort at objectivity in an encyclopedia. If those are your expectations, they would not be met by this work. In fact, the author appears to go out of his way to provide opinions where they might not normally be expected. For example, in the entry for Patricia Moyes, he comments, as if it is fact, that her main character Henry Tibbet "... falls into the tradition of Roderick Alleyn and Alan Grant, though he is less interesting... ". Whether Tibbett is more interesting or not clearly depends on each reader's outlook and, here, Mr. Murphy lets us know his.

The author's opinions here are quite interesting, although I would anticipate that most serious mystery readers will disagree with quite a few of them. Unfortunately, his bias seems to extend to excluding a number of popular and award winning authors, e.g., Steve Martini, Kate Wilhelm, whose work is even published by the same publisher, Earlene Fowler, etc.

In conclusion, this is a thick and extensive, albeit biased and exclusionary, work. Particularly, if supplemented by more inclusive mystery references this could make a useful addition to your library.
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on April 3, 2011
The Encyclopedia of Murder and Mystery is a great addition to any mystery readers collection. The book covers a wide variety of writers, stories, detectives, movies, and events regarding crime novels. It contains information about early novels and authors almost forgotten. Of course, no book of this type can cover all the bases, but the omissions are few. It is well written, but somewhat opinionated. The entries are fun to read; open to any page and browse to your hearts content. This book really is worth five stars.
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on March 28, 2000
Yes, this book is biased, and in many cases my opinion differs from that of the author. (I love cozies and cat mysteries, for example.) Still, Mr. Murphy's writing style is most engaging, and I find that it's fun to mentally argue with him as I read. "The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing" is more comprehensive and objective than "The Encyclopedia of Murder and Mystery," but there is much to learn and enjoy here that is not in the Oxford book. I see the two books as complementary rather than as competing. If you are a mystery fan, and if you can possibly afford it, get both.
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on March 28, 2000
Yes, this book is biased, and in many cases my opinion differs from that of the author. (I love cozies and cat mysteries, for example.) Still, Mr. Murphy's writing style is most engaging, and I find that it's fun to mentally argue with him as I read. "The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing" is more comprehensive and objective than "The Encyclopedia of Murder and Mystery," but there is much to learn and enjoy here that is not in the Oxford book. I see the two books as complementary rather than as competing. If you are a mystery fan, and if you can possibly afford it, get both.
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