Today, the figure of Sherlock Holmes towers over detective fiction like a colossus-but it was not always so. Edgar Allan Poe's French detective Dupin, the hero of The Murders in the Rue Morgue, anticipated Holmes' deductive reasoning by more than forty years with his tales of ratiocination. In A Study in Scarlet, the first of Holmes' adventures, Doyle acknowledged his debt to Poe-and to Emile Gaboriau, whose thief-turned-detective Monsieur Lecoq debuted in France twenty years earlier.
If Rue Morgue was the first true detective story in English, the title of the first full-length detective novel is more hotly contested. Two books by Wilkie Collins-The Woman in White (1859) and The Moonstone (1868)-are often given that honor, with the latter showing many of the features that came to identify the genre: a locked-room murder in an English country house; bungling local detectives outmatched by a brilliant amateur detective; a large cast of suspects and a plethora of red herrings; and a final twist before the truth is revealed. Others point to Mary Elizabeth Braddon's The Trail of the Serpent (1861) or Aurora Floyd (1862), and others still to The Notting Hill Mystery (1862-3) by the pseudonymous Charles Felix.
As the early years of detective fiction gave way to two separate golden ages-of hard-boiled tales in America and intricately-plotted, so-called cozy murders in Britain-the legacy of Sherlock Holmes, with his fierce devotion to science and logic, gave way to street smarts on the one hand and social insight on the other-but even though these new sub-genres went their own ways, their detectives still required the intelligence and clear-sightedness that characterized the earliest works of detective fiction: the trademarks of Sherlock Holmes, and of all the detectives featured in these pages.
The fearless Kopp sisters are back in another unforgettable romp by HWA-longlisted international bestseller Amy Stewart.
It's 1917, and the US Army is marching to join its allies in the First World War. Constance Kopp and her sisters may not be soldiers, but that doesn't mean they can't do their bit. All over America, women are banding together to create military-style training camps, and so the Kopp sisters leave their farm in New Jersey to learn some army discipline.
In Kopp Sisters on the March, the women of Camp Chevy Chase face down the scepticism of the War Department, the double standards of a scornful public, and the very real perils of war. Once again, Amy Stewart has brilliantly brought a little-known moment in history to light.
It's the sweltering summer of 1744 and when an epidemic disease threatens the town, coroner Titus Cragg retires with his wife and baby son to a remote village in East Lancashire, where he hopes his family will enjoy the healthy and tranquil air. But Cragg finds the rural atmosphere anything but peaceful when he's called upon to investigate the horrific death of a local woman who has fallen victim to a cruel community punishment.
Assisted by his friend Dr Luke Fidelis, Cragg begins to probe the village's prejudices and simmering hatreds, as he untangles cross-currents of suspicion, rivalry and rural customs which are very different from the ways he knows in the town. Then another local woman disappears, and events take a disturbing new twist .
Gretel - yes, that Gretel - is now all grown up and working as a private investigator in 18th century Bavaria. Her professional interest is piqued when she begins to hear whispers of of mysterious goings-on off the coast of Schleswig-Holstein: sailors are disappearing, and there are rumors of mermaids and sea creatures and all manner of slippery, sea-based happenings. Ordinarily, Gretel's interest in sea-life does not extend beyond that which is edible, doused in butter and garlic, and already on the plate before her. However, funds are low, and the captain of the ship Arabella makes a tempting offer of good pay and a free cruise in return for her detective services. With a splendid new wig packed, Hans as her bodyguard on the journey north, and the promise of two weeks of fine dining and erudite company whilst sailing around the picturesque Friesian islands, what could possibly go wrong?
Gretel has never had any time for sorcerers, considering them nothing more than show-offs with questionable fashion sense. It is with some reluctance and a deal of grumpiness, then, that she agrees to look into the matter of a murdered magician. All that is left of him is a grisly remnant, which the police quack confirms is the murdered man's appendix. What has become of the rest of him is baffling the local constabulary, the Sorcerers' Society, and, not least, the hapless trickster's widow.
As Gretel delves into the facts behind his disappearance she discovers no shortage of suspects. In fact, just about everyone she meets had reason for wanting the odious man dead. Her only clue points in one disturbing direction: the deep dark forest. So it is that Gretel, with a reluctant Hans as porter, must trek into the woods of her childhood trauma, braving all manner of discomforts and dangers-not least of which is a terrifying reminder of her past.
Gretel (yes, that Gretel) is now 35, very large, still living with her brother Hans, and working as a private investigator. The small, sleepy town of Gesternstadt is shaken to its pretty foundations when the workshop of the local cart maker is burnt to the ground, and a body is discovered in the ashes. It is Gretel who notices that the cadaver is missing a finger. At first she does not see this as significant, as her mind is fully focused on a new case. Not that she wouldn't far rather be investigating an intriguing murder, but her client is willing to pay over the odds, so she must content herself with trying to trace three missing cats. It is not until she is further into her investigations that she realizes the two events are inextricably and dangerously connected, and that the mystery of the missing cats will lead her into perilous situations and frightening company.
Very soon Gretel finds herself accused of kidnapping Princess Charlotte, twice locked up in the cells at the Summer Schloss, repelling the advances of an amorous troll, strapped to a rack in Herr Schmerz's torture chamber, and fleeing a murder charge. With dubious help from her brother (whose scant wits are habitually addled by drink), she must prove her innocence, solve the puzzle of the unidentified corpse, and find the stolen cats before they meet a grisly end.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch's Daughter comes the story of Gretel, all grown up and investigating the disappearance of Albrecht Durer's treasured Frog Prints Bavaria, 1776. When Albrecht Durer the Much Much Younger's Frog Prints go missing, he knows exactly where to turn for help. Gretel (yes, that Gretel), now 35 and still living with her gluttonous brother Hans, is the country's most famous private investigator, and she leaps at the opportunity to travel to cosmopolitan Nuremberg to take on the case. But amid the hubbub of the city's annual sausage festival, Gretel struggles to find any clues that point toward the elusive thief.
Even with the aid of the chatty mice living under her bed, the absent prints remain stubbornly out of view, and Gretel is forced to get creative in her search for the truth.
Apprentice healer Lassair uncovers the secrets of the mysterious City of Pearl in the compelling new Aelf Fen medieval mystery.
October, 1093. At her mentor's urgent request, Lassair is accompanying Gurdyman across the sea to Spain. But why is he so insistent on embarking on this difficult and dangerous journey just as winter approaches? And why does he seem so afraid? Could there be any connection to the vagrant found lying dead outside his home, a single pearl clutched in his outstretched hand?
As the pair reach the remote mountainous regions of northern Spain, Lassair will be tested as never before. Hot on her trail is Jack Chevestrier, the young lawman who loves her. But who is it who's trying to kill him ... and why?
June, 1604. When the emaciated body of a vagrant is found on the edge of the moor, it's the verdict of physician Gabriel Taverner that the man died of natural causes - but is all as it seems? Who was the dead man, and why had he come to the small West Country village of Tavy St Luke's to die cold, sick and alone? With no one claiming to have known him, his identity remains a mystery.
Then a discovery found buried in a nearby field throws a strange new light on the case . and in attempting to find the answers, Gabriel Taverner and Coroner Theophilus Davey unearth a series of shocking secrets stretching back more than fourteen years.
A tragic accident . . . or was it?
Emperor Domitian has been awarded (or rather, has demanded) yet another Triumph to celebrate two so-called victories. Preparations are going smoothly until one of the men overseeing arrangements for the celebration accidentally falls to his death from a cliff on the symbolic Capitoline Hill.
But Flavia Albia suspects there's more to the incident than meets the eye, as there are plenty of people who would have been delighted to be rid of the overseer. He was an abusive swine who couldn't organise a booze-up in a winery and was caught up in a number of scams, including one surrounding the supply of imperial purple dye and a family of shellfish-boilers.
As Flavia finds herself drawn into a theatrical world of carnival floats, musicians, incense and sacrificial beasts, can she see to the heart of the matter and catch those responsible for the unpopular man's untimely death?
Praise for Lindsey Davis and the Flavia Albia series
'Lindsey Davis has seen off all her competitors to become the unassailable market leader in the 'crime in Ancient Rome' genre . . . Davis's squalid, vibrant Rome is as pleasurable as ever' - Guardian 'Davis's prose is a lively joy, and Flavia's Rome is sinister and gloriously real' - The Times on Sunday 'For fans of crime fiction set in the ancient world, this one is not to be missed' - Booklist 'Davis's books crackle with wit and knowledge . . . She has the happy knack of making the reader feel entirely immersed in Rome' - The Times
1471. The Wars of the Roses. Edward of York has claimed the throne, and Margaret Beaufort, mother to Henry Tudor, the last hope of the House of Lancaster, is in grave danger. When four bodies are discovered in a London tavern, and suspicion falls on Margaret herself, it's up to her sharp-witted clerk, Ulswicke, to prove her innocence.
Part of the elegant Knickerbocker Classics series, The Complete Sherlock Holmes is comprised of 4 full-length novels and 56 short stories featuring the worlds most famous pipe-smoking detective. For Sherlock Holmes fans worldwide, this stunning hardcover edition is perfect for gift giving.
Written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle between the years 1867 and 1927, the legendary Sherlock Holmes employed his mastery of deductive reasoning and expert sleuthing to solve an array of complex and harrowing cases. From his home - 221B Baker Street in London - the legendary Sherlock Holmes (accompanied by his loyal companion and chronicler, Dr. Watson) baffled policemen and became famous worldwide for his remarkable observations and even more eccentric habits.
Featuring a foreword from renowned Holmes scholar Daniel Stashower, (author of A Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes in America), The Complete Sherlock Holmes contains every known Sherlock Holmes tale ever written. From Holmes' first appearance in 'A Study in Scarlet' (1887) and The Hound of the Baskervilles (1901-1902), through the collection of stories in the The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, this deluxe edition boasts the entire Holmes catalogue. The Knickerbocker Classics bring together the works of classic authors from around the world. Complete and unabridged, these elegantly designed, hardcover editions feature a comprehensive introduction providing the reader with enlightening information on the authors life and works.
From the award-winning and bestselling author of Into the Darkest Corner comes a delicious Victorian crime novel based on a real murder.
The Murder of Harriet Monckton is based on an unsolved true crime. On 7th November 1843, 23 year-old Harriet Monckton is found murdered in the privy behind the dissenting chapel she regularly attended in Bromley, Kent. The townsfolk are appalled by her death, apparently as a result of swallowing a fatal dose of prussic acid, and even more so when the autopsy reveals that Harriet was almost six months pregnant.
Drawing on the original coroner's reports and witness testimonies, Elizabeth Haynes builds a compelling picture of Harriet Monckton's final days through the eyes of those closest to her: her fellow teacher and companion, her would-be fiance, her seducer, and her former landlord and lover. All are suspects. Each has a reason to want her dead. Brimming with lust, mistrust and guilt, The Murder of Harriet Monckton is a masterclass of suspense from one of our greatest crime writers.
York, 1907. Newly retired Inspector Faro is delighted at the prospect of staying in the Dower House, situated on a Roman villa once home to Emperor Severus. But he arrives to find his wife Imogen distraught and desperately searching for her missing Irish cousin, who seems to have vanished without a trace...
The follow-up to Murder on Millionaires' Row, Erin Lindsey's second historical mystery follows Rose Gallagher as she tracks a killer with shocking abilities through Gilded Age Manhattan.
Rose Gallagher always dreamed of finding adventure, so her new life as a freshly-minted Pinkerton agent ought to be everything she ever wanted. Only a few months ago, she was just another poor Irish housemaid from Five Points; now, she's learning to shoot a gun and dance the waltz and throw a grown man over her shoulder. Better still, she's been recruited to the special branch, an elite unit dedicated to cases of a paranormal nature, and that means spending her days alongside the dashing Thomas Wiltshire.
But being a Pinkerton isn't quite what Rose imagined, and not everyone welcomes her into the fold. Meanwhile, her old friends aren't sure what to make of the new Rose, and even Thomas seems to be having second thoughts about his junior partner. So when a chilling new case arrives on Rose's doorstep, she jumps at the chance to prove herself - only to realize that the stakes are higher than she could have imagined. Six delegates have been murdered at a local political convention, and the police have no idea who-or what-is responsible. One thing seems clear: The killer's next target is a candidate for New York City mayor, one Theodore Roosevelt.
Convinced that something supernatural is afoot, Rose and Thomas must track down the murderer before Roosevelt is taken out of the race-permanently. But this killer is unlike any they've faced before, and hunting him down will take them from brownstones to ballrooms to Bowery saloons. Not quite comfortable anywhere, Rose must come to terms with her own changed place in society-and the fact that some would do anything to see her gone from it entirely.
Leeds, England. October, 1897. Superintendent Harper is proud of his wife Annabelle. She's one of seven women selected to stand for election as a Poor Law Guardian. But even as the campaign begins, Annabelle and the other female candidates start to receive anonymous letters from someone who believes a woman's place lies firmly in the home.
The threats escalate into outright violence when an explosion rips through the church hall where Annabelle is due to hold a meeting - with fatal consequences. The only piece of evidence Harper has is a scrap of paper left at the scene containing a fragment from an old folk song. But what is its significance?
As polling day approaches and the attacks increase in menace and intensity, Harper knows he's in a race against time to uncover the culprit before more deaths follow. With the lives of his wife and daughter at risk, the political becomes cruelly personal .
From New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble, Ask Me No Questions is the first in the Lady Dunbridge Mystery series featuring a widow turned sleuth in turn-of-the-twentieth century New York City.
A modern woman in 1907, Lady Dunbridge is not about to let a little thing like the death of her husband ruin her social life. She's ready to take the dazzling world of Gilded Age Manhattan by storm.
From the decadence of high society balls to the underbelly of Belmont horse racing, romance, murder, and scandals abound. Someone simply must do something. And Lady Dunbridge is happy to oblige.
Summer, 1549. Two years after the death of Henry VIII, England is sliding into chaos... the economy is in collapse, inflation rages and rebellion is stirring among the peasantry.
Since the old King's death, Matthew Shardlake has been working as a lawyer in the service of Henry's younger daughter, the Lady Elizabeth. The gruesome murder of Edith Boleyn, the wife of John Boleyn - a distant Norfolk relation of Elizabeth's mother - which could have political implications for Elizabeth, brings Shardlake and his assistant Nicholas Overton to the summer assizes at Norwich. There they are reunited with Shardlake's former assistant Jack Barak. The three find layers of mystery and danger surrounding Edith's death, as a second murder is committed.
And then East Anglia explodes, as peasant rebellion breaks out across the country. The yeoman Robert Kett leads a force of thousands in overthrowing the landlords and establishing a vast camp outside Norwich. Soon the rebels have taken over the city, England's second largest.
Barak throws in his lot with the rebels; Nicholas, opposed to them, becomes a prisoner in Norwich Castle; while Shardlake has to decide where his ultimate loyalties lie, as government forces in London prepare to march north and destroy the rebels. Meanwhile he discovers that the murder of Edith Boleyn may have connections reaching into both the heart of the rebel camp and of the Norfolk gentry...
It is 1851 and Mrs Rodd has received an unusual commission: wealthy businessman Jacob Welland is dying of consumption and implores our redoubtable detective to find his beloved brother, whom he has not seen for fifteen years.
Joshua Welland was an Oxford scholar; brilliant, eccentric and desperately poor. Nobody can say exactly when he disappeared from his college, but he had taken to wandering the countryside and one day simply failed to return. Since then, there have been several sightings of his lonely, ragged figure. Ten years ago a friend spotted him in a gypsy camp, where it was rumoured he was learning great secrets that would one day astound the world.
Mrs Rodd uses her search as an opportunity to reconnect with a couple from her past, but then a violent murder is committed and Scotland Yard are called to investigate. Mrs Rodd's old friend Inspector Blackbeard doesn't want to hear any nonsense about gypsies or secrets. Mrs Rodd, however, is convinced that something very sinister is lurking in this peaceful landscape.
Consulting detective Sherlock Holmes has been fascinating generations of readers, watchers and listeners for over 130 years, since he first appeared in print in 1887. Now an internationally renowned cultural icon, his name appears on books, films, television dramas, radio plays, stage adaptations and the rest right across the world and he is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as 'the most portrayed movie character' in history.
With all this material readily available, one might think there's not much to find out about Sherlock, but in Sherlock Unlocked, Daniel Smith looks behind what we think we know about the well-known sleuth and reveals little-known facts of which every Sherlock aficionado should be aware. From the eccentric and odd characters to the bizarre plot twists, and from Conan Doyle to Moriarty, this book will appeal to Holmes' fans old and new.
Full of fascinating facts, such as: - The shameful addiction of Watson's that Holmes kept secret - a dark gambling habit. - The part the legendary Langham hotel played, in both Conan Doyle's literary friendships - including with Oscar Wilde - and in the storylines he created for Holmes and Watson. - The Real Moriarty? The true-life London underworld thief-taker, Jonathan Wild, was a model for Professor Moriarty. - Holmes's retirement passion was bee-keeping. - One of author Conan Doyle's childhood teachers, Eugene Chantrelle, became a notorious murderer.
February, 1642. With the King and Parliament at loggerheads, England is rushing headlong into a brutal and bloody war. Caught up in the turbulence are two formidable women who face difficult and dangerous times ahead.
Forced to abandon her children and leave for foreign shores, the extravagant and unpopular Queen Henrietta Maria discovers that she cannot rely on the loyalty of her former friends and relatives in the royal courts of Europe. Meanwhile, her friend and former lady-in-waiting, the beautiful Countess of Carlisle, determines to remain loyal to the King, despite his craven betrayal of her lover and protector.
Separated from their menfolk, these two very different women determine to do what they can to survive in a world where brother is at war with brother, a world where no one can be trusted. But the war will change both their lives in ways they could never have imagined.