Early American Detective Stories

An Anthology

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SKU: 9780786495603 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

Although the classic tales of mystery have faded from popular culture, avid collectors and cataloguers have ensured their place in the annals of literature. This anthology offers readers an exemplary sample of the hundreds of detective stories published in 19th century newspapers and magazines. All but two are stories published before 1891, before Sherlock Holmes appeared in America. The stories are categorized according to common motifs, including the largely unexplored field of women in late 19th century detection. Revealing cultural intricacies that other kinds of fiction cannot, the literature presented here provides new insights into the history of the detective story.

About the Author(s)

LeRoy Lad Panek, professor emeritus of English at McDaniel College (and “One of the most readable, prolific, and perceptive academic scholars of mystery fiction”—Mystery Scene), is the author of a number of books about detective fiction. He lives in Westminster, Maryland.
Mary M. Bendel-Simso is a professor of English at McDaniel College and lives in Westminster, Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by LeRoy Lad Panek and Mary M. Bendel-Simso
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 358
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014 [2008]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9560-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1017-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      5

1. SERIES DETECTIVES      27
James Franklin Fitts, “The Guest-Chamber of the Inn at St. Ives”      29
Percy Garrett, “The Knotted Handkerchief ”      38
Harriet E. Prescott [Spofford], “Mr. Furbush”      48
A Traveller [ James D. M’Cabe, Jr.], “The Telltale Eye”      56

2. C.S.I.: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION      65
Anonymous, “The Left-Handed Thief ”      67
Anonymous, Excerpts from Strange Stories of a Detective; or, Curiosities of Crime
“Introduction”      72
“The Torn Glove”      75
Anonymous, “The First Case”      89
Anonymous, “The Hob-Nailed Shoes”      103
Anonymous, “The Mute Witness”      109
Anonymous, “The Secret Cipher: A Detective’s Story”      115
Anonymous, “A Tell-Tale Ink Mark”      120

3. HELP FROM ABROAD      124
Anonymous, “Story of a Detective ‘Expert’ ”      126
Anonymous, “Vidocq, or the Charcoal Burner of France”      135
W.W. Buchanan, “In the Cellar”      141
Narissa Rosavo, “The Wounded Hand…”      155
Anonymous, “Written in Blood”      163
Anonymous, “The Twisted Ring”      170

4. CONTEMPORARY REFLECTIONS      176
Anonymous, “The Costly Kiss:
A New York Detective Experience”      178
George Arnold, “‘C.S.A.’ ”      192
Herbert Lee Standish, “Five Thousand Dollars Reward”      199
Anonymous, “The Detective’s Story”      210
James D. M’Cabe, Jr., “Seventy Miles an Hour”      216
William Russell, “Hunting Rogues”      225
Anonymous, “Tracing a Murderer”      232

5. VIDOCQS IN PETTICOATS      241
Anonymous, “The Tell-Tale Key; or A Woman as a Detective”      243
Anonymous, “The Girl Detective”      248
Capt. Charles Howard, “An Old Offender”      255
Anonymous, “‘Clubnose’ ”      260

6. HAVE YOU HEARD THE ONE ABOUT THE DETECTIVE?      268
Anonymous, “The Gramercy Park Mystery”      270
Mark Twain, “Making a Fortune”      272
Anonymous, “A Detective’s Story”      274
Anonymous, “The Detective”      275
Anonymous, “Blown Upon: or The Sagacious Reporter”      278
H.B.S., “A Detective’s Story”      280
Anonymous, “A Detective’s Story”      281
Anonymous, “After a Clew”      282
Anonymous, “The Detective from Baltimore”      284

7. FINDING THE FIRST ANTHOLOGY      286
Mary E. Wilkins [Freeman] and
Joseph Edgar Chamberlin, “The Long Arm”      289
Professor Brander Matthews, “The Twinkling of an Eye”      316

Index      345

Book Reviews & Awards

“[Panek is] one of the most readable, prolific, and perceptive academic scholars of mystery fiction”—Mystery Scene.