The "Sensation Novel" ushered in the modern mystery genre. It was inaugurated by Wilkie Collins s best-seller The Woman in White in 1860. But this collection, selected by Peter Haining, reveals that Collins had actually been writing realistic stories of suspense for at least a decade before this. With dramatic plots that revolved around hidden secrets, bloody crimes, villainous schemes, and clever detective work all occurring in everyday settings, Wilkie Collins helped to shape a new genre that was worlds away from anything being written by his contemporariesand one that was to have a far-reaching influence. Sensation Stories ranges from Collins s earliest tales and those published under the auspices of his great friend Charles Dickens to the title piece from his last, melancholic collection. Among several famous yarns and stories not published for over a hundred years is one featuring a pioneer female detective and another that has been called the first British detective story. There is a ghost story controversial for its eroticism, the first humorous or satirical detective story and a story that clearly presages The Woman in White , published two years later. Thrilling reads in their own right, all10 stories showcase Wilkie Collins s towering contribution to the development of the mystery genre. Indeed, he is now regarded as the inventor of the modern detective story and the forefather of a crime fiction tradition that runs through Arthur Conan Doyle to Thomas Harris today."
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(200mm x 130mm x 23mm)
Peter Owen Publishers
Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers
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UK Kirkus Review »
These stories date back as far as 1843 from when Collins was 19 and they span 40 years of writing. No two of the ten tales are alike. We have the macabre, the supernatural, suspense, mystery and thriller all packed into one volume. Plots involving love intermingle with deceit whilst precognition battles with simple gothic horror. One of the stories is only five pages long and my favourite lasted for barely over sixteen. One of the many beauties of this book is that it is possible to absorb an entire story, leaving one pondering upon the plot, in a relatively short space of time. The tales keep you turning the pages and hungry for the next plot as the current one draws to its conclusion. It must surely be the mark of an excellent writer when he can still captivate an audience 160 years after the story was first written. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Wilkie Collins
Wilkie Collins is asignificant contributor to the development of the mystery genre. He is now regarded as the inventor of the modern detective story and the forefather of a crime fiction tradition that runs through Arthur Conan Doyle to Thomas Harris today.Peter Haining was a celebrated anthologist and the author of more than 60 non-fiction titles."