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Benjamin Stevenson

Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven series (1949–63) was my induction into crime reading. I was smitten with the secret society of children who set out to solve mysteries and right wrongs despite adults’ disbelief and objections. As a teen, I graduated to Agatha Christie and Arthur Upfield (in the 1970s, we were still unaware how offensive his depiction of Detective Inspector Napoleon ‘Bony’ Bonaparte was to Aboriginal Australians). Later, came writers of the hard-boiled school – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Chester Himes – and others, like Georges Simenon and James Ellroy, who extended or subverted the conventions of the genre.

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