Although on the margins of Australian literary circles during his lifetime, Arthur William Upfield produced over thirty novels and several articles. Twenty-nine of his novels, published in England, Australia and later in America and Canada, have as their protagonist Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, an Aborigine of mixed descent, who unravels through his superior sleuthing the most difficult mysteries that others are unable to solve. Most of these crime stories have been re-published (and re-published) and translated into at least fourteen languages, the first being German, and French the most recent. Our aim here is to re-assess Upfield's 'Bony' series, and to demonstrate that to dismiss these stories is to lose a valuable, if controversial, contribution to Australian literature. Narrative, dialogue, characterisation and landscape are aSpects that will be considered in assessing the (author's) creative process. Moreover, we shall suggest that as a series, they demonstrate the historicity of a disappearing culture. In this way, we hope to determine which of these aspects ensure the series' continued appeal, especially in France.
Mostly French: French (In) Detective Fiction p. 93-120