The Best American Mystery Stories of the 19th Century

The Best American Mystery Stories of the 19th Century

edited by Otto Penzler Hardcover, 604 pages; 2014
#UK0722 $30.00 Members' Price: $25.50

Though mystery fiction hit its stride during the twentieth century, the genre enjoyed an exciting youth a century earlier, when Edgar Allan Poe introduced literature's first detective and luminaries such as Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, and Jack London tried their hand at the burgeoning literary movement. This impressive anthology gathers thirty-three of those stories, all published between 1824 and 1899. The thrillers included here are not all whodunits; editor Otto Penzler, proprietor of New York's famed Mysterious Bookshop, classifies a mystery as "any work of fiction in which a crime, or the threat of a crime, is central to the theme or the plot." Some of the stories are Victorian morality tales suitable for gentle readers; others are decidedly not for the faint of heart, in particular the shocking and bloodcurdling opener by Washington Irving. Yet all will strike a chord with avid mystery buffs. So lock the door, draw the curtains, and take courage, dear reader! (KG)

(UK0722) The Best American Mystery Stories of the 19th Century

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