Home Home - Where you will find out more about mystery novels, find new authors, and learn about some really great older ones.

The Beginnings of the Mystery Novel From Edgar Allen Poe to Sherlock Holmes

Menu: Early Days to Sherlock Holmes | After Holmes, 1887 to 1913 | Nineteenth Century Crime and Police

Mystery Author Index

The mystery story took shape in the years after the publication of Edgar Allen Poe's short stories. The stories took a form which was largely based on the action of real-life policemen, and of crime events in the news. The heroes of these stories were policemen and some dashing criminals. The appearance of Sherlock Holmes forever changed the way that the mystery novel was written.

Many writings by authors of this period are available online and are free or low cost. Search at Many Books, Project Gutenberg, or Amazon. Amazon's Kindle is now available for PC and Mac conputers for free which is another way to access these older mystery novels. Here are instructions for transferring free ebooks to your Kindle. These older mysteries are also available at Dover Publications which has many mystery short story collections and novels from this period. These books are not free. If you are looking for American mystery stories written before 1891 which is when the Sherlock Holmes stories reached the US, I would suggest that you visit the Westminster Detective Library where there is a compilation of detective stories from this period.

You may enjoy watching dramatizations of these authors' works. If so, go to the Mystery Films page where you will find a great deal to view.


Proceed on to those writers who came after Holmes

For more information about crime and police in the 18th and 19th century, visit this this page.

This site is maintained by Linda Bertland, Philadelphia, PA. Please address any comments, additions, or corrections to info@sldirectory.com