Englert, via Randolph, gives us this in A Dog About Town:
"W.H. Auden ... He too had faced a New Year filled with doubt and dark musings—the New Year 1940 when a great war loomed over the world. ... His words now flowed through my mind, a sad and graceful music:
The situation of our time
Surrounds us like a baffling crime.
There lies the body half-undressed
We all had reason to detest.
And all are suspects and involved
Until the mystery is solved.
And under lock and key the cause
That makes a nonsense of our laws ... "
"Because of its resilience and popularity, detective fiction has attracted what some may feel is more than its fair share of critical attention, and I have no with to add to, and less to emulate, the many distinguished studies of the last two centuries."
"So what exactly are we talking about when we use the words `detective story,' how does it differ from both the mainstream novel and crime fiction, and how did it all begin?"