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The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories

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The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Gathering the finest adventures among private and police detectives from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries-including a wide range of overlooked gems-Michael Sims showcases the writers who ever since have inspired the field of detective fiction.

From luminaries Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Bret Harte, Wilkie Collins, and Arthur Conan Doyle to the forgotten author who helped inspire Edgar Allan Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" to a surprising range of talented female authors and detectives, The Dead Witness offers mystery surprises from every direction. The 1866 title story, by Australian writer Mary Fortune, is the first known detective story by a woman, a suspenseful clue-strewn manhunt in the Outback. Pioneer writers Anna Katharine Green and C. L. Pirkis take you from high society New York to bustling London, introducing colorful detectives such as Violet Strange and Loveday Brooke.

In another forgotten classic, November Joe, the Canadian half-Native backwoods detective who stars in Hesketh Prichard's "The Crime at Big Tree Portage," demonstrates that Sherlockian attention to detail works as well in the woods as in the city. Holmes himself is here, too, of course-not in another reprint of an already well-known story, but in the first two chapters of A Study in Scarlet, the first Holmes case, in which the great man meets and dazzles Watson.

Introduced by Michael Sims's insightful overview of detective fiction, The Dead Witness unfolds the irresistible antecedents of what would mature into the most popular genre of the twentieth century.

Review:

"Sims (Dracula's Guest) has pulled together an exceptionally intelligent and varied anthology of Victorian crime fiction, starting with a detective story that predated Poe's 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue' by four years, William E. Burton's 'The Secret Cell,' reprinted for the first time since its original publication in 1837. The usual suspects — Poe, Dickens, Collins, Doyle, and Chesterton — are all on hand, but the chronological placement of their contributions, each with an insightful introduction, helps delineate what each author got from his or her predecessors. D'Artagnan's impressive deductive reconstruction of a gunfight 30 years before A Study in Scarlet amply justifies the surprising inclusion of a section from a Dumas père musketeer romance. Among the lost treasures is the title story, 'the first known detective story written by a woman,' Mary Fortune, an Australian immigrant who wrote a story a month for 40 years under the pseudonym Waif Wander. Serious readers of detective fiction will cherish this volume." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Gathering the finest adventures among private and police detectives from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries-including a wide range of overlooked gems-Michael Sims showcases the writers who ever since have inspired the field of detective fiction.

From luminaries Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Bret Harte, Wilkie Collins, and Arthur Conan Doyle to the forgotten author who helped inspire Edgar Allan Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" to a surprising range of talented female authors and detectives, The Dead Witness offers mystery surprises from every direction. The 1866 title story, by Australian writer Mary Fortune, is the first known detective story by a woman, a suspenseful clue-strewn manhunt in the Outback. Pioneer writers Anna Katharine Green and C. L. Pirkis take you from high society New York to bustling London, introducing colorful detectives such as Violet Strange and Loveday Brooke.

In another forgotten classic, November Joe, the Canadian half-Native backwoods detective who stars in Hesketh Prichard's "The Crime at Big Tree Portage," demonstrates that Sherlockian attention to detail works as well in the woods as in the city. Holmes himself is here, too, of course-not in another reprint of an already well-known story, but in the first two chapters of A Study in Scarlet, the first Holmes case, in which the great man meets and dazzles Watson.

Introduced by Michael Sims's insightful overview of detective fiction, The Dead Witness unfolds the irresistible antecedents of what would mature into the most popular genre of the twentieth century.

About the Author

Michael Sims is the author of acclaimed nonfiction books such as The Story of Charlottes Web, Apollos Fire: A Day on Earth in Nature and Imagination, and Adams Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of the Human Form. His anthologies include The Penguin Book of Victorian Women in Crime and Draculas Guest: A Connoisseurs Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories. He lives in western Pennsylvania.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802779182
Author:
Sims, Michael
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20111231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
608
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » General
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Anthologies

The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories Used Trade Paper
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$13.95 In Stock
Product details 608 pages Walker & Company - English 9780802779182 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Sims (Dracula's Guest) has pulled together an exceptionally intelligent and varied anthology of Victorian crime fiction, starting with a detective story that predated Poe's 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue' by four years, William E. Burton's 'The Secret Cell,' reprinted for the first time since its original publication in 1837. The usual suspects — Poe, Dickens, Collins, Doyle, and Chesterton — are all on hand, but the chronological placement of their contributions, each with an insightful introduction, helps delineate what each author got from his or her predecessors. D'Artagnan's impressive deductive reconstruction of a gunfight 30 years before A Study in Scarlet amply justifies the surprising inclusion of a section from a Dumas père musketeer romance. Among the lost treasures is the title story, 'the first known detective story written by a woman,' Mary Fortune, an Australian immigrant who wrote a story a month for 40 years under the pseudonym Waif Wander. Serious readers of detective fiction will cherish this volume." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,

Gathering the finest adventures among private and police detectives from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries-including a wide range of overlooked gems-Michael Sims showcases the writers who ever since have inspired the field of detective fiction.

From luminaries Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Bret Harte, Wilkie Collins, and Arthur Conan Doyle to the forgotten author who helped inspire Edgar Allan Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" to a surprising range of talented female authors and detectives, The Dead Witness offers mystery surprises from every direction. The 1866 title story, by Australian writer Mary Fortune, is the first known detective story by a woman, a suspenseful clue-strewn manhunt in the Outback. Pioneer writers Anna Katharine Green and C. L. Pirkis take you from high society New York to bustling London, introducing colorful detectives such as Violet Strange and Loveday Brooke.

In another forgotten classic, November Joe, the Canadian half-Native backwoods detective who stars in Hesketh Prichard's "The Crime at Big Tree Portage," demonstrates that Sherlockian attention to detail works as well in the woods as in the city. Holmes himself is here, too, of course-not in another reprint of an already well-known story, but in the first two chapters of A Study in Scarlet, the first Holmes case, in which the great man meets and dazzles Watson.

Introduced by Michael Sims's insightful overview of detective fiction, The Dead Witness unfolds the irresistible antecedents of what would mature into the most popular genre of the twentieth century.

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