I came across some interesting recent and upcoming nonfiction books, a mix of niche reference to specific cultures and subgenres that look intriguing. Many are priced high enough that it's obvious they're destined to be library and textbook denizens (note the professor/authors and university presses) as opposed to off-the-shelf books, but if you're a fan of these particular subjects or need insights into Italian or Russian mysteries, you can seek these out.
Pimping Fictions by Justin D. Gifford, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno. "Lush sex and stark violence colored Black and served up raw by a great Negro writer," promised the cover of Run Man Run, Chester Himes' pioneering novel in the black crime fiction tradition. In Pimping Fictions, Justin Gifford provides a hard-boiled investigation of hundreds of pulpy paperbacks written by Himes, Donald Goines, and Iceberg Slim (aka Robert Beck), among many others. Gifford draws from an impressive array of archival materials to provide a first-of-its-kind literary and cultural history of this distinctive genre.
Russian Pulp: The Detektiv and the Russian Way of Crime by Anthony Olcott, Associate Professor of Russian at Colgate University and author of the Edgar-nominated Murder at the Red October. Using the detektiv and its counterpart—the many mysteries and thrillers set in Russia but written by Westerners—as evidence, Russian Pulp demonstrates that Russians and Westerners view the basic issues of crime, guilt, justice, law, and redemption in such fundamentally different ways as to make each people incomprehensible to the other.
The Importance of Place in Contemporary Italian Crime Fiction: A Bloody Journey by Barbara Pezzotti, who teaches Italian language and culture in New Zealand. By taking as its point of departure the privileged
relationship between the crime novel and its setting, this book is the
most wide-ranging examination of the way in which Italian detective
fiction in the last 20 years has become a means to articulate the
changes in the social landscape of the country.
Masters of the "Humdrum" Mystery: Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts, Alfred Walter Stewart and the British Detective Novel, 1920-1961 by Curtis Evans, an independent scholar and book dealer. In 1972, in an attempt to elevate the stature of the "crime novel," influential crime writer and critic Julian Symons cast numerous Golden Age detective fiction writers into literary perdition as "Humdrums," condemning their focus on puzzle plots over stylish writing and explorations of character, setting and theme. By championing the intrinsic merit of these mystery writers, this book shows that reintegrating the "Humdrums" into mystery genre studies provides a fuller understanding of the Golden Age of detective fiction and its aftermath.