The History of Mystery by Max Allan Collins
(Art Fiction Series)

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Footprints, a smoking revolver, broken glass . . . Whodunit? Get to the bottom of things with Max Allan Collins, who puts the enigmatic, endlessly fascinating world of the mystery genre under the magnifying glass in THE HISTORY OF MYSTERY. Starting with Edgar Allan Poe's fictional detective Dupin, Collins tracks the modern detective story from its birth in Allan Pinkerton's Memoirs to its fullest flowering in the fiction of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Ross MacDonald. Collins widens his scope to explore the rich narrative and visual history of detective comics and the legacy of mystery in radio, television, and film noir. This stunning volume presents a magical selection of pulp and dime-novel covers of the thirties and forties, gats-and-gals paperback covers of the fifties and sixties, the Sunday strips' yellow-trenchcoat-clad Dick Tracy, and portraits of the terribly proper and totally astute television dynamos Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and Jessica Fletcher. En route, Collins reveals true tidbits about some of mystery's leading lights, like the little known fact that Dashiell Hammett was persecuted during the McCarthy era and opted for jail over betraying a friend, and that Nancy Drew posed for Playboy magazine. Arguably the most comprehensive survey ever published, THE HISTORY OF MYSTERY is sure to please the most discriminating sleuth.

About Max Allan Collins

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Max Allen Collins was born in 1948 in Muscatine, Iowa. He is a two-time winner of the Private Eye Writer's of America's Shamus Award for his Nathaniel Heller historical thrillers "True Detective" and "Stolen Away". Collins also wrote the Dick Tracy comic strip begining in 1977 and ending in the early 1990s. He has contributed to a number of other comics, including Batman. Collins created his first independent feature film, Mommy, following a nightmarish experience as screenwriter on the cable movie The Expert. Collins has been contracted by DC Comics to write three tie-ins to his critically acclaimed graphic novel "The Road to Perdition", which was adapted into the feature film. Author of other such move tie-in bestsellers as "In the Line of Fire" and "Air Force One", he is also the screenwriter/director of the cult favorite suspense films "Mommie" and "Mommie's Day".
Published October 1, 2001 by Collectors Press. 196 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The History of Mystery

Publishers Weekly

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Edgar nominee and Shamus Award-winner Max Allan Collins a bestselling author whose graphic novel Road to Perdition is the foundation of a DreamWorks film due out in March turns his attention to the evolution of his favorite form in The History of Mystery, a gift book and reference tome for al...

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Entertainment Weekly

Collins is an award-winning whodunit novelist himself, so perhaps the real mystery surrounding this handsome coffee-table tome is why it reads so darn badly, right from the barely parsable first sentence (''The mystery story maintains its perennial hold on readers because, at its core, is cri...

Jan 18 2002 | Read Full Review of The History of Mystery (Art F...

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