The Great Detectives

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The Great Detectives The Great Detectives

by Otto Penzler (ed)

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Published: 2012

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The Great Detectives: The World's Most Celebrated Sleuths Unmasked by Their Authors
The origins of literature’s finest crime fighters, told by their creators themselves
Their names ring out like gunshots in the dark of a back alley, crime fighters of a lost era whose heroic deeds will never be forgotten. They are men like Lew Archer, Pierre Chambrun, Flash Casey, and the Shadow. They are women like Mrs. North and the immortal Nancy Drew. These are detectives, and they are some of the only true heroes the twentieth century ever knew.
In this classic volume, Otto Penzler presents essays written by the authors who created these famous characters. We learn how Ed McBain killed—and resurrected—the hero of the 87th Precinct, how international agent Quiller wrote his will, and how Dick Tracy first announced that “crime does not pay.” Some of these heroes may be more famous than others, but there is not one whom you wouldn’t like on your side in a courtroom, a shootout, or an old-fashioned barroom brawl.

Foreword by Otto Penzler
Roderick Alleyn by Ngaio Marsh
John Appleby by Michael Innes
Lew Archer by Ross Macdonald
Father Bredder by Leonard Holton
Flash Casey by George Harmon Coxe
Pierre Chambrun by Hugh Pentecost
Inspector Cockrill by Christianna Brand
Captain José Da Silva by Robert L. Fish
Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
The 87th Precinct by Ed McBain
Fred Fellows by Hillary Waugh
Inspector Ghote by H. R. F. Keating
Matt Helm by Donald Hamilton
Duncan Maclain by Baynard H. Kendrick
Mark McPherson by Vera Caspary
Lieutenant Luis Mendoza by Dell Shannon
Mr. and Mrs. North by Richard Lockridge
Patrick Petrella by Michael Gilbert
Superintendent Pibble by Peter Dickinson
Quiller by Adam Hall
Inspector Schmidt by George Bagby
The Shadow by Maxwell Grant
Michael Shayne by Brett Halliday
Virgil Tibbs by John Ball
Dick Tracy by Chester Gould
Inspector Van der Valk by Nicolas Freeling
Bibliography and Filmography
Otto Penzler (b. 1942) is among the world’s foremost authorities on crime fiction. He founded the Mysterious Press (now an imprint at Grove/Atlantic) in 1975, and has edited and published many of the greatest mystery writers of the past half-century—including Joseph Wambaugh, Patricia Highsmith, Joyce Carol Oates, Donald Westlake, Thomas H. Cook, Ed McBain, Ruth Rendell, Thomas Perry, Eric Ambler, Mickey Spillane, Ross Macdonald, and James Ellroy.
In 1976, Penzler collaborated with Chris Steinbrunner to write the Edgar Award–winning Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection, a definitive reference work for the genre. He has also written numerous articles and several books about mystery fiction, and has edited more than sixty anthologies, including the prestigious Best American Mystery Stories of the Year for seventeen years and The Lineup, for which he won his second Edgar. He founded the Mysterious Bookshop in 1979 and the electronic publishing company, in association with Open Road Integrated Media, in 2011. He divides his time between Manhattan and Connecticut.

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