The Notting Hill Mysteryby Charles Warren Adams
Can you name the first detective novel ever published? For years, many believed it to be Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone, published in 1868. Others speculated it might be Émile Gaboriau’s first Monsieur Lecoq novel, L’Affaire Lerouge. Actually, the firstmodern detective novel predates both of these by several yearsCharles/i>/i>
Can you name the first detective novel ever published? For years, many believed it to be Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone, published in 1868. Others speculated it might be Émile Gaboriau’s first Monsieur Lecoq novel, L’Affaire Lerouge. Actually, the firstmodern detective novel predates both of these by several yearsCharles Warren Adams’s The Notting Hill Mystery, originally published as an eight-part serial in Once A Week magazine in 1862 under the pseudonym Charles Felix, then as a single-volume novel in 1863 by Bradbury & Evans, is considered to truly be the first.
The Notting Hill Mystery begins in London, where the wife of the sinister Baron R__ dies after drinking from a bottle of acid, apparently while sleepwalking in her husband’s home laboratory. It looks like an accident, until insurance investigator Ralph Henderson learns that Baron R__ took out numerous life insurance policies on his wife. As Henderson investigates the case, he discovers not one, but three murders. Presented as Henderson’s evidential findingsdiary entries, family letters, chemical analysis reports, interviews with witnesses, along with a crime scene mapthe novel displays innovative techniques that would not become common features of detective fiction until the 1920s.
To the delight of all fans of detective fiction, the British Library makes this landmark text available once again. This handsome new edition also includes George du Maurier’s illustrations, the first edition to do so since the original publication in serial form.
- British Library, The
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Meet the Author
Charles Warren Adams wrote under the pseudonym Charles Felix. He was a journalist, traveler, lawyer, and sole proprietor of the firm Saunders, Otley & Co., as well as the author of Barefooted Birdie and Velvet Lawn.
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This was a mystery that was never really solved,but it was attention grabbing. It was a narrative written through testimony given by various suspects and professionals. It took me a little longer to read but it was a good book. I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Almost post-modern in structure, The Notting Hill Mystery is not a page-turner in the ordinary sense, but rather an intellectualized approach to "proving" a murder has taken place. An insurance investigator presents the evidence he has gathered after the death of a richly insured woman.