So, I'm teaching a "Mystery As Lit" course next semester. What books should I use?

I'm going with Mosley's "Devil In A Blue Dress" for sure. Also something by Chandler, but which one? They're all so great, but is one particularly iconic or complex? I'd like to teach one of van de Wetering's books, and probably an Agatha Christie. So I still need three or four more. Any suggestions/thoughts would be most helpful. Diversity/variety is a big plus.

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Don't get me wrong. I'd defend to the death your right to your own choices, but our disagreement about academic topics may well have something to do with the fact that we do make different choices. :)
I'd go with "Hard Rain" among Janwillem van de Wetering's books. And why not try "Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee," the eighteenth-century Chinese story translated by Robert van Gulik, and compare it with one of Van Gulik's original Judge Dee stories? Van Gulik appended short historical, didactic notes to his stories, which might make him especially good for teaching purposes. And I'd agree with a previous comment that Seicho Matsumoto offers compelling views of postwar Japan.

With respect to crime fiction in academia, readers who like mystery might not care whether what they read is "respectable" or not, people who read literature should be open-minded enough to recognize that some crime fiction might qualify, and Literature snobs won't be convinced.

I'd be apprehensive of a course that took a "crime fiction as literature" approach. That sounds like crime stories behing pumped up and shoe-horned and inflated and dressed up in fancy metaphors and figures. I'd prefer a more modest approach that would suggest simply that what we call literature and what we call mystery can share themes and concerns and devices. Or maybe a course called, simply, "Mystery," and let the students take what they want from it. Or even "Literature as Mystery."
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Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/
Van Gulik's novels are very good historical mysteries. I've always like MURDER IN CANTON best. The translated stories aren't terribly good though they do explain why Van Gulik (a career diplomat and scholar) would set out to write his series. But Van Gulik also wrote two novellas ("The Morning of the Monkey" and "The Night of the Tiger"). Both are excellent shorter works, but may be out of print.
I'm not a big fan of the translated stories either, but the differences between them and Western crime stories are instructive -- with the caveat that I have no idea how indicative they are of their genre and its ancient precedents.

I have those two novellas in a relatively recent Scribner Crime Classics edition. I'm unsure whether they're still in print, but I'm guessing they're still available.
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Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/
I enjoy crime fiction, and I very much enjoy Roman history and travel in the Roman world. Oddly enough, the combination has never done much for me, though I do try again from time to time. I think for me the history and the mystery interefere with one another.

But Lindsey Davis' novels might work in a mystery as history course. Last year, I visited Fishbourne Roman Villa in England, whose mosaics constitute one of the most stunning and moving monuments in all the Roman world. Lindsey Davis set one of her Marcus Didius Falco novels around the villa's construction, and I asked a staff member what they they thought of her book. They loved it, they thought it accurate, and they had over to the villa for a book launch. Davis' academic dissertation on the emperor Vespasian has also been published. And her writing is entertaining. She might work as collateral reading in a syllabus on early Roman imperial history.
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Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/
Lindsey Davis is better than Saylor, but Van Gulik is far superior to both.
I enjoy Davis' books. When recommending them for others to read, I'd always
ask them to imagine Jim Rockford in ancient Rome. In my mind, Falco always looks and sounds like James Gardner.
Rockford is probably a good comparison. I read and very much enjoyed one of Davis' Falco short stories, but I've had trouble with her novels, possibly because the social comedy and family squabbling are so good that they distract me from the social and topographical history that I want, which is also good.

Van Gulik's ancient China (a mix of two different eras, actually) is nore of a blank slate to me, I know far less about it than I do about ancient Rome, so story and history do not clash.

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Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/
Van Gulik knows his history (he was a published scholar of Chinese and Japanese history and culture and served as diplomat for many years in both China and Japan). When he bends chronology to suit a plot (as in THE WILLOW PATTERN), he explains in an end note. What really works for me is that I can enter that world effortlessly and relate to its people. At no time do I feel that I'm looking at a modern detective story in costume. I learned a lot from Van Gulik as a writer, even though I later focused on character instead of plot. His Judge Dee is patterned after remote detectives like Sherlock Holmes.
I'd say that what works for me is the wealth of detail. Thanks to the books, I have a strong idea that a Tang Dynasty magistrate worked his butt off and had wide responsibility for what we would think of as unrelated government functions. I know Van Gulik was a scholar of Chinese and Japanese (and, perhaps just as important, a diplomat), so I'm willing to accept that his history was fairly accurate. More to the point, it's convincing. The detail is profuse, but never obtrusive.

Van Gulik also created an inner circle of characters with sharply delineated and distinctive personalities, which I suppose makes them easy to relate to.

I'm enoying this discussion. It's nice to think about an author and what makes his work work.
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Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/
There's a clever little book called "Rome on Five Denarii a Day." Its format is that of a travel book, and Rome is described as it appeared during the time of the Caesars. Thought someone should do the same for other cities/times, e.g., Shakespearean London, or Moscow in 1917.
I've seen that book. There's at least one other in a similar format, I think about ancient Egypt.
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Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

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