The U.S. Library of Congress has recently announced a new collaboration with Poison Pen Press to launch the Library of Congress Crime Classics Series. Beginning this Spring, classic American crime novels will see new life with the reissue of fiction originally published between 1860 and 1970. The titles will be chosen from the Library’s collection of out-of-print books.
The series will begin in Spring 2020 with the publication of three books: “That Affair Next Door” by Anna Katharine Green (1897), “The Rat Began to Gnaw the Rope” by C. W. Grafton (1943) and “Case Pending” by Dell Shannon (1960).
This unique series is edited by Leslie S. Klinger, a two-time Edgar-winner. He has selected lesser known titles that represent a range of genres within crime fiction. Along with the original text of the novel, each publication includes an introduction by Klinger, as well as an author biography and suggestions for further reading and discussion questions for book clubs and classrooms.
The three spring titles each represent a first. Green’s “That Affair Next Door” introduces the first female detective—Amelia Butterworth—to appear in a series. C. W. Grafton, author of “The Rat Began to Gnaw the Rope,” is one of the first American crime writers to add humor to the hard-boiled style of Chandler and Hammett. Dell Shannon, author of “Case Pending,” is one of the first American women to write police procedurals,