The Father of Mystery • Mystery stories as we know them began in the mid-1800s. • Edgar Allen Poe introduced mystery’s first detective in his story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” in 1841. • Poe continued these stories and became known as the father of mystery.
Charles Dickens also made many contributions to the beginnings of the mystery genre. • His most famous mystery is “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” written in 1870, because the author’s death left the story unfinished. • In 1878, Anna Katherine Green became the first woman to write a detective novel. • She wrote “The Leavenworth Case.”
1887 brought the most famous mystery detective: Sherlock Holmes. • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote “A Study in Scarlet” and began the Sherlock Holmes adventures. • Conan Doyle’s writing exhibited a new style to solving mysteries by making the act of deducing clues a science.
Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr. Watson quickly became indispensable to mystery readers everywhere.
The Golden Age • The 1920s brought about many more mystery writers. • The popularity of mystery fiction was at an all time high. • During this time, famous mystery author Agatha Christie began her stories. She wrote more than 80 novels and is probably the most well-known mystery writer in history.
Radio mysteries became popular in the early to mid 1900s. • The 1940s brought mysteries to the television, with popular characters such as Perry Mason, Simon Templar, Columbo, and Jessica Fletcher of the “Murder, She Wrote” series. • Later television mysteries included “Dragnet,” “Hawaii 5-O,” and “Alfred Hitchcock.”
Mysteries for Children • More mystery stories began to be written for children, including Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and Encyclopedia Brown. • Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine (“Goosebumps”) began writing mysteries for children. • The game CLUE brought mystery to even more children.
Today • Today, mystery continues to be an ever-popular genre for both children and adults. • Here are some you may recognize: