“In the Shadow of Agatha Christie”

Well, In the Shadow of Agatha Christie: Classic Tales by Women Crime Writers, 1850-1917
is done and on its way to Pegasus Books. I thought I’d share the table of contents:

“The Advocate’s Wedding Day” by Catherine Crowe
“The Squire’s Story” by Elizabeth Gaskell
“Traces of Crime” by Mary Fortune
“Mr. Furbush” by Harriet Prescott Spofford
“Mrs. Todhetley’s Earrings” by Ellen Wood
“Catching a Burglar” by Elizabeth Corbett
“The Ghost of Fountain Lane” by C. L. Pirkis
“The Statement of Jared Johnson” by Geraldine Bonner
“A Point in Morals” by Ellen Glasgow
“The Blood-Red Cross” by L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace
“The Regent’s Park Murder” by Baroness Orczy
“The Case of the Registered Letter” by Augusta Groner
“The Winning Sequence” by M. E. Braddon
“Missing: Page Thirteen” by Anna Katherine Green
“The Adventure of the Clothes-line” by Carolyn Wells
“A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell

A fascinating group of women: English, American, Australian, and an Austrian–all, perhaps with the sole exception of Anna Katherine Green, have been overlooked in the shadow of Christie. There are pioneers here, and not just as female writers: Mary Fortune wrote the world’s first true police-detective series, and Elizabeth Corbett’s tales of a female detective were said to be as popular as the early Holmes stories. And yes, there’s even a Sherlockian parody in the bunch! The number of pieces included grew from an initial plan of 11 to 16, as I kept finding more I wanted to put in. I omitted some other brilliant writers, because they didn’t write short stories–Caroline Clive, for example, whose Paul Ferroll is the first mystery novel by a woman, and Metta Fuller Victor, whose The Dead Letter may well be the first American mystery novel–perhaps an expanded edition in the future will include excerpts! Publication date to be determined, but it will be in 2017!


  1. Jan Burke on February 28, 2017 at 5:16 am

    Glaspell’s story is unforgettable. I’m a fan of Pirkus as well, and look forward to reading some on this list who are new to me. Congratulations, Les!

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