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Detection by Gaslight: 14 Victorian Detective Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – July 10, 1997

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Revised ed. edition (July 10, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486299287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486299280
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #956,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A collection put together by mystery authority Douglas Greene, this 258-page volume gathers stories from writers as well known as Kipling ("The Return of Imray") and G.K. Chesterton ("The Eye of Apollo"). Also included is A. Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches".

Other writers and stories:

Robert W. Chambers -- The Purple Emperor
R. Austin Freeman -- The Dead Hand
Jacques Futrelle -- The Tragedy of the Life Raft
E. and H. Heron -- The Story of Baelbrow
Headon Hill -- The Divinization of the Zagury Capsules
Silas K. Hocking -- A Perverted Genius
L.T. Meade & Robert Eustace -- Mr. Bovey's Unexpected Will
Arthur Morrison -- The Case of the Lost Foreigner
Baroness Orczy -- The York Mystery
Catherine L. Pirkis -- The Ghost of Fountain Lane
George R. Sims -- The Haverstock Hill Murder

The book also contains a two-page introduction by mystery authority Douglas G. Greene, as well as interesting under-one-page biographical notes about each author.

Recommended as a nice mind-trip to Victorian times for mystery readers, for a more-than-reasonable price.
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By A Customer on May 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
Having spent years combing the used bookstores from Maine to Florida for Victorian era detective fiction, I can vouch for the superlative quality of this collection. You would probably have to time-travel in order to find so many intriguing stories all in one place-including a rare gem by R. Austin Freeman which apparently has never been published before in the United States. The editor is Edgar award-winning author Douglas G. Greene, considered by many the foremost authority on classic detective fiction today. The introductory essay alone is worth the price of the book. Thanks again, Dover-and thanks again, Douglas Greene.
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Format: Paperback
Editor Douglas Greene has gathered an eclectic set of Victorian mysteries that is sure to please fans of Victorian literature. Many of these authors are long out of print, and there were several with whom I was completely unfamiliar.

There were of course, stories by Doyle, Orczy and Chesterton to represent the more traditional favorites--Chesterton's "The Eye of Apollo" is especially excellent. Several of the other stories were surprisingly deep and well-written, though there were also a few truly dreadfully written stories, that were quite popular in their day, and reading them was fun in a different way. (I'll not give my opinion as to which stories were which, so as not to influence other readers.)

Overall, this is an excellent set of Victorian stories, giving a wide range of styles and tastes, with a short biography of the author at the start of the story. For anyone who enjoys Victorian lit, these stories (especially the lesser known gems among them) will make a wonderful read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nice collection of Victorian Era detective stories, some with supernatural elements. Solid Authors such as Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, Robert W. Chambers that can always be counted on for a good story. Holmes fans would enjoy it, mystery and detective fans, and even those inclined to like ghost stories, pleasing to readers of various genres and those who like older literature.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the format of this collection. Each story has a short preface that gives some biographical info and tells how the story fits into the early history of detective fiction. So you get a bit of an education along with your thrills and chills.

The editor was interested in showing the amazing variety of investigators that arose in the wake of Sherlock Holmes. We meet with lady detectives, clergymen sleuths, scientific investigators, detectives both brave and cowardly - and even an agent who employs a Hindu snake charmer to see into mysteries.

There are fourteen stories, and I liked every one very much, with two exceptions (but what editor can please everyone?). The creators of famous detectives like Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown and The Thinking Machine are in company with authors long since forgotten. And the mix is very successful.

The stories illustrate the incredibly fertile imaginations of Victorian and Edwardian mystery writers. A lecture on sea worms leads to the apprehension of a murderer. A fly fisherman solves a crime among butterfly collectors. A house ghost who has behaved well for centuries suddenly turns violent.

Fans of vintage detection can pick up some fascinating facts, such as who invented the inverted detective story and who first filled the void when Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Holmes. And those who take pleasure in historic atmosphere will find plenty of it here.

Detection by Gaslight is a fun introduction to Victorian mystery writing - but also a welcome supplement for those who have read widely in the period.
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