10 Commandments of Detective Fiction

My bookclub just tackled The Dante Club, which has enjoyed a lot of really positive reviews. The concept is fantastic. The Dante Club, whose members include Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, J.T. Fields, and others, has been working on a translation of the Divine Comedy, specifically the Inferno. A grisly series of murders occurs and gradually the club comes to realize that the killer is using punishments from the Inferno as inspiration. Already under pressure to stop their translation, the members of the Dante Club decide that they must solve the murder.

Hell of a concept. Poor execution. The author doesn’t really know how to set it up properly and he breaks every one of the 10 Commandments for Detective Fiction. Also it’s suggested that a good writer shows rather than tells.

Still, a promising first effort.


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