Claire Whitehead’s Poetics of Early Russian Crime Fiction was published by Legenda / MHRA in 2018.
The cover was designed to evoke nineteenth-century Russian print culture, echoing newspaper lithographs of the time. The Russian text reads ‘Spetaya Pesnia’ (The Song is Sung), and refers to an extremely popular whodunnit from the early century that, like most of this literature, is now forgotten. The setting is St Petersburg, with Church of the Saviour on the Blood in the background, and a rearing horse echoing the Bronze Horseman and the statues of Annichkov Bridge. Visual elements referencing Russian literary and popular culture include: Anton Chekhov with a doctor’s bag, an orthodox priest, a night-watchman, a photographer, and a chihuahua gnawing a human arm (a key clue in one of the texts Whitehead discusses).