Crime Fiction Conventions

The conventions of any genre are the implied rules and framework pertaining to compositions that are considered generic. Variations and manipulations of these conventions result in sub-genres. While sub-genres will continually emerge and evolve our standard conventions of the genre will always stay true.
The standard conventions of crime fictions can be categorised to reflect narrative, setting, character, theme and style.  
P.D James’s Skull beneath the Skin is a crime fiction text which conforms to the conventions of the genre. The narrative features two crimes of murder. The investigation is conducted by a private investigator Cordelia Gray, who is initially hired to protect Clarissa. The story is told from the perspective of the sleuth, and thus the audience also become involved in the investigation. James’s text is primarily set on Courcy Island, an isolated setting conducive to a ‘closed circle’ of suspects, conforming, to the cosy subgenre of crime fiction.
P.D James has incorporated several conventional characters into her crime fiction text. The sleuth is Cordelia Gray, a Private Investigator who is highly observant and meticulous, as demonstrated by her detection of crucial clues, such as the missing jewellery box, which leads to denouement of the crime. Gray exhibits her resourcefulness by tracking down a crucial piece of evidence at the Speymouth library, and then logically deduces that Ambrose Gorringe was complicit in the murder to prevent his exposure for tax fraud.
Two murderers are depicted, with the victims being Clarissa lisle and Simon Lessing. Clarissa is despised by the majority of the ‘closed circle’ on Courcy Island as she is perceived to have individually wronged each of them and hence provided them with motive. Clarissa is murdered by Simon Lessing, who in turn is murdered by Ambrose. As the perpetrator of Clarissa’s death, Simon should conventionally be portrayed as evil.   However, the audience sympathises with the tragic story...