Those Victorians

Posted by on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012 - 12:11 PM

Short stories for long winter nights

My ears pricked up last week when I heard about The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Detective Stories on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Edited by Michael Sims, this collection revisits some of the familiar classics, but you will find that it introduces you to a raft of lesser-known writers, many of them women.

Sims is the acclaimed anthologist of several volumes, including Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories (2010) which Library Journal called a “brilliant collection.”

The 1866 title story—a suspenseful clue-strewn manhunt in the Outback—by Australian writer Mary Fortune, is the first known detective story by a woman. Her credits includeThe Detective's Album, the longest-running early detective serial anywhere in the world.

Pioneer writers Anna Katharine Green and C. L. Pirkis take you from high society New York to bustling London, introducing colorful detectives such as Violet Strange and Loveday Brooke.

Publishers Weekly called this one an “exceptionally intelligent and varied anthology.”

The most famous Victorian detective of them all is back!  In addition to The House of SIlk, a delightful new Sherlock Holmes adventure courtesy of Anthony Horowitz, he is back on the big screen in A Game of Shadows, the second film featuring a (hatless) Robert Downey, Jr. as the master detective and Jude Law as his faithful (and not-so-forebearing) companion Watson.  



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