We Value Your Privacy

This site uses cookies to improve user experience. By continuing to browse, you accept the use of cookies and other technologies.

I UNDERSTAND
LEARN MORE

What Is Hard-Boiled Crime Fiction?

Mystery expert Otto Penzler breaks down how to know it when you read it.

hard boiled fiction
  • camera-icon
  • Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Structure

hard-boiled crime fiction
  • camera-icon
  • From the cover of The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

How to Tell By Looking at the Cover

hard-boiled crime fiction
  • camera-icon
  • The Archer Files and Red Harvest

Beginning

hard-boiled crime fiction
  • camera-icon
  • Black Mask magazines

The Greats

The Best of the Modern Writers

hard-boiled crime fiction
  • camera-icon
  • James Ellroy (left) and Elmore Leonard (right)

    Photo Credit: Alchetron