This detective novel introduces readers to a British mining engineer – Richard Hannay – who has just returned to London from Rhodesia. The story was written by Scottish author John Buchan and published in 1915. The tale is exciting, fast-moving, and action-packed. Not surprisingly, it was adapted into several different film versions, starting with the… Continue reading What Are the 39 Steps? The Book Holds the Key …
Even though the name of this book is Trent’s Last Case, the novel is actually about the FIRST detective case of detective Philip Trent. Published in 1913, the main character, Philip Trent, is an artist, freelance journalist, and amateur detective sent to report on a case involving the murder of an American business tycoon in… Continue reading Detective Philip Trent in Trent’s Last Case
Long before he started writing his own detective stories, Gilbert Keith (G.K.) Chesterton was already a fan of the genre. He had been reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories about Sherlock Holmes since he was a boy and even tried his hand at writing mysteries of his own with a few stories that were published… Continue reading Father Brown Mystery Stories: Meet a New Type of Detective
Baroness Orczy was a novelist I had never heard of until recently, although her tales featuring Lady Molly of Scotland Yard are well known among detective story fans. That’s why I was surprised to learn the baroness was ALSO the author of The Scarlet Pimpernel – a book I first heard about in high school.… Continue reading Baroness Orczy and Her Unforgettable Characters
This haunting story by Arthur Conan Doyle was my first introduction to Sherlock Holmes – in the 1939 film version of the story, which aired on TV in the late 1960s. But up until recently, if you had asked me “Why is The Hound of the Baskervilles famous?” I wouldn’t have had an answer. Now… Continue reading Why Is The Hound of the Baskervilles Famous?
What do you think of when you hear the term “Victorian locked room mystery”? My first thought was of movies I’d seen where a group of people had been invited to a dinner party in a mansion isolated from the outside world … and then – one by one – they start dying off (not… Continue reading The World’s First Victorian Locked Room Mystery Novel
Prior to hearing about The Big Bow Mystery, I had never heard of Israel Zangwill, author of this mystery novel. What I’ve discovered since then is that Zangwill (who was born in London) was a prolific author of books, plays, essays, and poems. The Big Bow Mystery was one of his earliest works, published in… Continue reading Who Was Israel Zangwill, Author of The Big Bow Mystery?
The fact that there’s a Sherlock Holmes anti-Mormon controversy came as a surprise. (It’s probably a surprise to you, too.) As far as I knew, all Sherlock Holmes stories took place in England … or at least Europe! Then I learned that part of the plot in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet… Continue reading Ever Hear of the Sherlock Holmes Anti-Mormon Controversy?
Who was Fergus Hume? And why was his Victorian debut novel, The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, so popular worldwide? If you are a fan of Victorian-era detective novels (and I’m guessing you probably are if you’re reading this blog), you may already know the answer to the question “Who was Fergus Hume?” That’s because… Continue reading Who Was Fergus Hume?
Looking for Project Gutenberg detective stories and mysteries? Good news: you can find the books we’re reading on Project Gutenberg! Project Gutenberg Detective Stories “Discovering forgotten classics in the public domain.” This slogan on Project Gutenberg’s website explains perfectly what the site is all about. Thousands of books are available for free download in a… Continue reading Project Gutenberg Detective Stories