Thursday, April 20, 2017

4/20/1841 The mystery story is born

April 20, 1841.  That was the publication date for the issue of Graham's Magazine which featured "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," in which Edgar Allan Poe invented the detective story.

Oh sure, you can find earlier stories with this or that element, but in one tale Poe included:
* A genius detective
* An admiring assistant (or "Watson") who narrates
* Bungling police officers
* Scientific crime scene investigation
* Least likely suspect

In three more stories (two about Auguste Dupin, the genius detective, plus "Thou Art The Man") he added:
* The obvious clue
* The roman a clef
* The gathering of the suspects

So happy birthday to the mystery field!


  1. Thanks for the reminder, Rob. We need balloons, cake, and champagne.

  2. I have no idea what other genre I'd be obsessed with if this hadn't happened.