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Murder by the Book Exhibition

Culture & Arts
May 29, 2024 - Aug 24, 2024

Free, public exhibition exploring 20th Century British Crime Fiction


Pre-booking essential.

Crime fiction is the UK’s most read, bought and borrowed genre. Cambridge University Library draws on its world-leading collections of British crime fiction to stage a murderously good exhibition!

Bringing together literature, culture and heritage, Murder by the Book: A Celebration of 20th Century British Crime Fiction illuminates and celebrates the stories of the UK’s most popular fiction writing. Curated by award-winning crime novelist Nicola Upson, the Library’s exhibition challenges traditional distinctions between literary fiction and genre fiction. Murder by the Book examines crime’s place in our literary history and the Library’s own Special Collections.

Agatha Christie’s typewriter, dictaphone and the typescript of her final Poirot novel – so top secret it was kept in a bank vault for three decades are star exhibits. The exhibition also showcases rare books and audio-visual recordings looking at the genre from its origins in the works of Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens to contemporary best-sellers Val McDermid and Ian Rankin.

With first editions of The Moonstone and Bleak House, as well as Sherlock Holmes’ debut appearance, the exhibition explores the Library’s remarkable collections and stylish dust jackets that represent more than a century of British book design.

Curated by crime novelist Nicola Upson.