>Just one more thing…


I often tell my students that analytical academic writing has a good deal in common with decent crime fiction. So as, I sat updating course outlines, I was pleased to tune in to BC Radio 4’s excellent documentary on my favourite TV ‘tec Columbo presented by stand-up-comedian turned crime writer Mark Billington. The Lieutenant offers especially useful parallels as, as often with comparative politics, the question is not whodunnit, but howdunnit and how-can-find-out-and-prove-it. There’s also an interesting East European angle with Columbo I didn’t know about. Apparently the motif of the detective-as-commonplace-underestimated little man came from Crime and Punishment and (more predictably) G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown stories. Columbo’s conventional and settled domestic arrangements – happily married to the ever off screen Mrs C. are also unusual, although they do have has echoes of Simenon’s Inspector Maigret.

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