The Essential Elements of the Detective Story, 1820–1891

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About the Book

Until recently, only a privileged few could read the rare, early writings that formed the basis of detective fiction in America and made it one of the most popular literary genres of the 19th century. Drawing on the unprecedented access provided by digital collections of period newspapers and magazines, this book examines detective fiction during its formative years, focusing on such crucial elements as setting, lawyers and the law, physicians and forensics, women as victims and heroes, crime and criminals, and police and detectives.

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

LeRoy Lad Panek and Mary M. Bendel-Simso
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6699-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2811-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1. Setting 7
2. Law and Lawyers 38
3. Physicians and Forensics 66
4. Women and Detectives 97
5. Crime and Criminals 137
6. Detectives and Their Stories 170
Afterword 215
Appendix: Women Writers 223
Bibliography 225
Index 233

Book Reviews & Awards

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