Nineteenth Century Detective Fiction

An Analytical History

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About the Book

In English and American cultures, detective fiction has a long and illustrious history. Its origins can be traced back to major developments in Anglo-American law, like the concept of circumstantial evidence and the rise of lawyers as heroic figures. Edgar Allen Poe’s writings further fueled this cultural phenomenon, with the use of enigmas and conundrums in his detective stories, as well as the hunt-and-chase action of early police detective novels. Poe was only one staple of the genre, with detective fiction contributing to a thriving literary market that later influenced Arthur Conan Doyle’s work. This text examines the emergence of short detective fiction in the nineteenth century, as well as the appearance of detectives in Victorian novels. It explores how the genre has captivated readers for centuries, with the chapters providing a framework for a more complete understanding of nineteenth-century detective fiction.

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.

Bibliographic Details

LeRoy Lad Panek
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 197
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8752-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4528-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1. Detectives and New Media 5
2. Circumstantial Evidence 20
3. Edgar Allan Poe 41
4. Enter the Detective 55
5. Serial Heroes and Detective Stories 75
6. Detectives in Novels 98
7. Arthur Conan Doyle: The Early Novels 128
8. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 150
Afterword 179
Works Cited 183
Index 187