Follow the trail of the smoking gun, look for clues in the naked footprints and watch out for broken glass... the game is afoot in the bright, guilty world of detective fiction and author Max Collins knows whodunit. Peeking through the misty mythic barrier of detective stories and film noir, Collins exposes the History of Mystery.
The mystery field comes under sleuth-like scrutiny, from Edgar Allan Poe?s fictional detective Dupin, from Murders in the Rue Morgue, to tracing the modern detective story from its birth in the pages of ?memoirs? by the first real-life private eye, Allan Pinkerton. The History of Mystery continues through the full flowering of this dark genre in the respected P.I. fiction of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald to best-selling superstars Erle Stanley Gardner, Rex Stout, Dorothy B. Sayers and Robert B. Parker.
Glorious illustrations appear throughout, from pulp fiction covers to comic strips and portraits of the usual suspects, including Dick Tracy, Sam Spade, Phillip Marlowe and their veddy British counterparts, the inimitable Sherlock Holmes, Mrs. Marple, Hercule Poirot and Lord Peter Wimsey.
Collins unlocks the secrets behind their creators and even uncovers the seldom-seen and largely forgotten female detectives who first appeared in fiction nearly 100 years ago, making way for the fascinating heroines of modern mystery authors Sara Peretsky, Marcia Miller and Patricia Cornwell.
Leading us through a thorough investigation of mystery, Collins? magnifying glass focuses on every aspect of the oeuvre and gives us what is arguably the most delightfully comprehensive survey ever published.
Max Allan Collins has earned nine Private Eye Writers of America "Shamus" nominations for his Nathan Heller historical thrillers, winning twice for True Detective (1983) and Stolen Away (1991). A Mystery Writers of America "Edgar" nominee in both fiction and non-fiction categories, Collins has been hailed as "the Renaissance man of mystery fiction."
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First Published: 2001
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