W.H. Auden once called crime fiction "an addiction like alcohol and tobacco" - a vice to be furtively consumed in secret. This is a commonly held view of the genre.
Isn't there something insufferably old hat about crime fiction, with its village greens and grizzled old detectives wearing fedoras? Apparently in answer to this, Murder in the Library, a small exhibition at the British Library, takes a look at this much maligned genre.
The problem is: how do you faithfully represent a genre that accounts for a third of books published today, with protagonists that range from 7th century Irish nuns to a 21st century boy with Asperger's Syndrome, and whose authors range from Jorge Luis Borges to Terry Venebles?