But what if that standard [of the hard-boiled narrative] had less to do with Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe than with Ellen Montgomery, the naive young heroine of Susan Warner’s 1850 bestseller “The Wide, Wide World”? What if the walk down mean streets was less about an alienated lone wolf and more about the search for home and domesticity?
Sarah Weinman asks this question in her Los Angeles Times review of Leonard Cassuto’s just published Hard-Boiled Sentimentality: The Secret History of American Crime Stories.
Weinman praises Cassuto’s ability to show the surprising connections between hard-boiled works by authors such as Dashiell Hammett, Ross Macdonald, and Robert B. Parker and the sentimental novels of the nineteenth century.
You can also read more at Sarah Weinman’s blog and you can read Leonard Cassuto’s post Rooting for Serial Killers: The Strange Case of Dexter.