26.2 | Kym Martindale

Murder in Arcadia: Towards a Pastoral of Responsibility in Phil Rickman’s Merrily Watkins Murder Mystery Series

Phil Rickman’s Merrily Watkins murder mystery series look to the ‘golden age’ of detective fiction to create then undo the pastoral upon which that form heavily relied. This paper examines how such a strategy might be termed post-pastoral in Terry Gifford’s understanding of that term, and promotes the idea that popular fiction has a role to play in reshaping pastoral so that it speaks to and for a future, rather than an idyllic and fictional past.