The Golden Age of Murder

Martin is internationally recognised as an expert on crime fiction, and is the author of The Golden Age of Murder, a ground-breaking study of classic detective stories written between the wars. The book has won the Edgar, Agatha, H.R.F. Keating, and Macavity awards for the best non-fiction book of the year, and was also shortlisted for both an Anthony award and the CWA Gold Dagger for non-fiction.

Len Deighton has described the book as “illuminating and entertaining” and said it “provides a new way of looking at old favourites.” American critic Sarah Weinman called it “this most delightful and necessary book” and British novelist Ann Cleeves described it as “a wonderful non-fiction book”, while Mark Lawson described it in The Guardian as “an excellent work of detection…superbly compendious and entertaining.”

Reviewers throughout the world have acclaimed the book’s zest and ambition, and in The Times, Marcel Berlins, doyen of crime critics, said: “Few, if any , books about crime fiction have provided so much information and insight and, for the reader, so enjoyably..No other work mixes genre history, literary analysis and fascinating author biographies with such relish.”


British Library Crime Classics


The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, published in 2017, is Martin’s companion to the British Library’s internationally renowned series of Crime Classics. 

Martin has contributed many essays to leading reference books over a span of more than twenty years, together with introductions to dozens of well-known mysteries, most recently those published by the British Library in its highly successful Crime Classics series – for which he is series consultant. Rob Davies, the series editor at the British Library, has kindly contributed these articles about the series, and Martin’s role in it:

The View from the British Library

Martin and the British Library

Martin has also been working on no fewer than ten anthologies of Golden Age detective fiction, to be published by the British Library over the next two years. They include Capital Crimes, a collection of mysteries set in London, Resorting to Murder, a book of holiday mysteries, Silent Nights, an anthology of Yuletide mysteries, Murder at the Manor featuring country house mysteries,Serpents in Eden a book of countryside mysteries, and Crimson Snow, a book of winter mysteries.