Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $20.00
  • Save: $2.37 (12%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Dead Witness: A Conno... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Standards signs of wear and use. SHIPS FREE for Prime Members!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories Paperback – December 20, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$17.63
$3.99 $0.01

Featured Titles in Fiction
Nine Women, One Dress: A Novel
Nine Women, One Dress: A Novel
Nine Women, One Dress: A Novel
$17.63 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories
  • +
  • The Phantom Coach: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Ghost Stories
Total price: $32.02
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Dracula's Guest:'This creepy conoisseur's collection of Victorian vampire stories is PACKED with pointy-toothed blood-suckers and gruesome ghastliness ... Think Christopher Lee in his coffin, red eyes snapping open, dust off your wooden stake and garlic necklace, and blame the 18th century Eastern Europeans whose peasant superstitions spawned the whole gory vampire genre' --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

About the Author

Michael Sims is the author of acclaimed nonfiction books such as The Story of Charlotte's Web, Apollo's Fire: A Day on Earth in Nature and Imagination, and Adam's Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of the Human Form. His anthologies include The Penguin Book of Victorian Women in Crime and Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories. He lives in western Pennsylvania.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books; 1 edition (December 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780802779182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802779182
  • ASIN: 0802779182
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,101,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
56%
4 star
44%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 9 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By Wulfstan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
Collections of short stories are often a "mixed bag". In many ways, that's because not all of us have the same taste, so it's great to have stories that cater to many types of readers. In others, it's because the editor wants to get fans of certain authors interested, so the editor gets a few "big names" and then some lesser known or even new authors. And, even though sometimes that leads to misunderstanding, it also can be good for the reader, as we then get to find a new favorite author.

Here, none of the authors can really be counted as "new" as most of them wrote back in the time of Queen Victoria. Of course we have the seminal Victorian detective (in fact, perhaps The Great Detective), Sherlock Holmes, but we also have Dupin, Mark Twain, and other favorites.

Of course, every editor has a slant- and here Michael Sims wants to show us that women also wrote mysteries and there were also plenty of tales back then of woman detectives, something many of us weren't familiar. Of course, when you introduce lesser known writers, sometimes the writer isn't up to par (but then, who can really compare to Mark Twain and A. Conan Doyle). Still, I enjoyed many of these stories quite a bit. "The Murder at Troyte's Hill" by Catherine Louisa Pirkis was quite interesting as it featured a woman as a known respected PROFESSIONAL detective.

It starts out with the editors own well written intro to detective fiction, especially the history of said stories:

"In the long view of history, detectives are a recent phenomenon. Crime is not. As archaeologists often demonstrate, deception, theft, and violence haunted society even before we left caves or invented agriculture.
Read more ›
1 Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't think this book should be read as just another collection of Victorian detective stories. It's really a history of the genre told through stories. Each selection is introduced by a short essay about the author and the significance of the piece. Most selections are short stories, but there are also extracts from books, and even an example of sensational crime reporting on a murder by Jack the Ripper. Each piece illustrates some aspect of the amazing development of the literature of detection.

And so the whole is greater than the parts - even though the parts are quite fascinating in themselves.

The stories include many firsts: first fictional detective, first locked-room mystery, first known detective story written by a woman, first woman detective. The selections date from 1837 through 1915 (when the Victorian sensibility was still very much alive). So we really get a feeling of a rich and evolving literary tradition. We who read detective stories for the sheer fun of it can now feel smart about our addiction!

Sims presents us with a wonderful array of detectives arising from the Victorian imagination (or the Victorian influence) - a clever seamstress determined to find the murderer of her friend, the puffed up Frenchman who probably inspired Poirot, a blind consulting detective with hyperacute senses, a Canadian half-native backwoods guide with Holmes-like deductive powers, a young socialite who hides her keen intellect beneath a flow of frivolous chatter - and many others.

Pivotal selections from Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle are also included. I had read both long ago but really enjoyed a more observant second reading following Sims's analysis.
Read more ›
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Michael Sims begins his anthology of Victorian detective stories with an interesting introduction where he gives a potted history of the detective in literature, going back as far as Daniel in the Bible! Much of this is ground that has been covered many times, of course, but Sims doesn't only stick to British detectives, as many of these anthologies tend to, so some of the information about early writings from America was unfamiliar to me. And he ranges more widely than usual in his selection of stories too, taking us to Australia, Canada, and even the American wilderness.

Sims brings in several writers I haven't come across before, and in particular some of the early women writers of detective fiction. The stories are presented in chronological order and, before each one, he gives a little introduction – a mini-biography of the author, putting them into the context of the history of the development of the genre.

Overall, I found this collection more interesting than enjoyable. Unfortunately, my recent forays into classic crime have left me feeling that there's a good reason many of these forgotten authors and stories are forgotten. Often the stories simply aren't very good, and I'm afraid that's what I felt about many of the early stories in this anthology. The later ones I tended to find more enjoyable, partly, I think, because the detective story had developed its own form by then which most authors rather stuck to.

The book is clearly trying not to regurgitate the same old stories that show up in nearly every collection and that is to be applauded. However, some of the selections didn't work for me, and I felt on occasion that the choices were perhaps being driven too much by a desire to include something different.
Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories