Friday, June 9, 2017

6/9/1870 The Mystery of Charles Dickens

June 9, 1870.  Charles Dickens died on this date.  I usually only mention the births of mystery writers, but I will make an exception for this one, because it had effect on our field. 

Dickens had written a few books with crime elements.  Inspector Bucket in Bleak House is one of the first fictional police detectives.  But Dickens died while he was working on a genuine mystery novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.  If he had finished it we would probably think of it as a minor work, notable only for its author.  But since we can never know exactly what solution DIckens had in mind the story keeps capturing people's imagination.  It was even turned into a musical in which the audience got to vote on the killer - with songs written for each possibility. 

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