Detective stories have a long history in fiction and are among the most popular genres in publishing. In their modern form, they go back to the American writer Edgar Allan Poe, whose 1841 story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is considered the first modern detective story, and Poe’s hero C. Auguste Dupin became the pattern for detectives in literature. The first, and some say the greatest, full-length detective novel in English, however, is the 1868 best-seller The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1824-89), a long, complex tale that introduces most of the elements of the modern whodunit— numerous suspects, false clues, shrewd deductive reasoning by an amateur detective, and skilled professional police-work. The medium reached its peak of popularity with the work of Sir Ar thur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), whose detective Sherlock Holmes appeared in four novels and 56 short stories between 1887 and 1927.
As the medium became more contemporary and sophisticated, others introduced new elements to the form. Such novelists as Dorothy Sayer s (1893-1951), whose detective hero Lord Peter Whimsey became one of the best-loved figures in the field, also wrote scholarly studies of the mystery form in literature. In time a new category mystery fiction, the spy story, emerged, and the shrewd detective was replaced by a brave and dashing spy. Outstanding among creators of the spy novel was Ian Fleming (1908-64), whose hero James Bond appeared in 15 novels between 1953 and 1956 and also became one of the best-known characters in motion pictures.
The Karpeles Museum will exhibit from September 8 to December 18 an unrivaled collection of original documents from the history of the medium, including material relating to the pioneer mystery-writer Wilkie Collins, letters and pages from the manuscripts of Arthur Conan Doyle relating to Sherlock Holmes and his origin, pages from both the mystery novels and the critical studies of the form by Dorothy Sayers, and unique first-hand material from Ian Fleming’s James Bond books and films.
The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum is located at 94 Broadway, across from City Hall, in the City of Newburgh. The Karpeles Museums are a national chain with ten in the U.S. specializing in the preservation and display of original, historically significant documents and manuscripts. Museum Hours: Thu.-Sat., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 12 to 4 p.m.
Admission is always free. Visit us online: WWW.KARPELES.COM
photo from here, Current History of the War v.I (December 1914 – March 1915). New York: New York Times Company