Victorian Tales of Mystery and Detection by Michael Cox
An Oxford Anthology

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Synopsis

The Victorian era saw the first great flowering of the detective story. Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle, J.S. LeFanu, and a host of others pioneered a genre of fiction that remains among the most popular today. Now, in Victorian Tales of Mystery and Detection, Michael Cox provides a sampling of the finest detective stories written from the 1840s to the early twentieth century.
Here readers will find a vast array of detectives and villains, and a multitude of murder methods and motives. In Edgar Allen Poe's "The Purloined Letter," the identity of the robber is known from the start--it is the surreptitious retrieval of the letter that is the mystery. In M. McDonnell Bodkin's "Murder By Proxy," a gentleman is shot in the head at close range, by a murderer who was not even in the same room. Charles Dickens's "Hunted Down" portrays a murderer who was slowly poisoning his very own nieces for their insurance money. And in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost Special," a train and its passengers vanish in thin air. In addition, Cox (who is rapidly becoming one of the foremost experts on Victorian popular fiction) arranges the stories in chronological order so that readers can follow the genre as it develops over time. For instance, in Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" we see an example of the many Sherlock Holmes escapades that popularized and came to typify the detective story for the Victorian public. And in the progression of the stories, we witness the evolution of the investigator from Poe's brilliant and eccentric Chevalier C. August Dupin, to Doyle's scientific Sherlock Holmes, into Robert Barr's cavalier Valmont (a possible model for Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot).
Including well-known stories by famous authors, as well as little known gems reprinted for the first time, Victorian Tales of Mystery and Detection not only offers hours of enjoyment and escape for all lovers of crime fiction, but also brings alive the society, language, the sights, and sounds of the Victorian age.
 

About Michael Cox

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About the Editor: Michael Coxis coeditor ofThe Oxford Book of EnglishGhost StoriesandVictorian Ghost Storieswith R.A. Gilbert.
 
Published October 29, 1992 by Oxford University Press. 608 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Victorian Tales of Mystery and Detection

Publishers Weekly

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The editor of Victorian Ghost Stories returns with an inviting collection of 31 stories by 30 writers (two stories are by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) that provides an enthralling overview of the mystery/d

Sep 28 1992 | Read Full Review of Victorian Tales of Mystery an...

Publishers Weekly

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The editor of Victorian Ghost Stories returns with an inviting collection of 31 stories by 30 writers (two stories are by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) that provides an enthralling overview of the mystery/detective tale from 1845 to 1904.

| Read Full Review of Victorian Tales of Mystery an...

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