Before Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes there was French detective C. Auguste Dupin who is credited as being the detective in the first mystery called “The Murders in Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe. Modern mysteries have a wonderful past with detective stories tracing back to the Victorian Era, and The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Detective Stories edited and introduced by Michael Sims is a collection of many of these early tales.
With twenty-two stories in the collection including Poe’s mystery, there is a wide variety of authors from Charles Dickens “On Duty with Inspector Field” to Bret Harte’s “The Stolen Cigar-Case”, a spoof on Sherlock Holmes. Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Science of Deduction” is also included as well as another French detective Eugène Valmont in Robert Barr’s “The Absent-Minded Coterie”. Women are not excluded with detectives such as Miss Violet Strange in “An Intangible Clue” by Anna Katharine Green and Catherine Louisa Pirkis’s detective Loveday Brooke in “The Murder at Troyte’s Hill”.