Murder she wroteBMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c1469 (Published 18 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1469
- Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor
Literature, like the living world, can be divided into kingdoms, orders, families, genera, species, and even subspecies. For example, there is the kingdom prose; the order fiction; the family novels; the genus murder detection; the species the English golden age of detective stories; and the subspecies murders that take place in prep schools.
No doubt a Freudian might say that the very existence of such a subspecies is indicative of English attitudes to children or to education—or, of course, to both.
One detective story in which the murder takes place in a prep school is Murder at Half-Term, first published in 1939, by Josephine Bell, the pen …