In the Shadow of Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie is undoubtedly the world’s best-selling mystery author, hailed as the “Queen of Crime,” with worldwide sales in the billions. Christie burst onto the literary scene in 1920, with The Mysterious Affair at Styles; her last novel was published in 1976, a career longer than even Conan Doyle’s forty-year span.The truth is that it was due to the success of writers like Anna Katherine Green in America; L. T. Meade, C. L. Pirkis, the Baroness Orczy, and Elizabeth Corbett in England; and Mary Fortune in Australia that the doors were finally opened for women crime-writers. Authors who followed them, such as Patricia Wentworth, Dorothy Sayers, and, of course, Agatha Christie would not have thrived without the bold, fearless work of their predecessors—and the genre would be much poorer for their absence. So while Agatha Christie may still reign supreme, it is important to remember that she did not ascend that throne except on the shoulders of the women who came before her—and inspired her—and who are now removed from her shadow once and for all by this superb new anthology by Leslie S. Klinger.Featuring: Mary Fortune, Harriet Prescott Spofford, Ellen Wood, Elizabeth Corbett, C. L. Pirkis, Geraldine Bonner, Ellen Glasgow, L. T. Meade, Baroness Orczy, Augusta Großer, M. E. Graddon, Anna Katherine Green, Carolyn Wells, Susan Glashell

In the Shadow of Agatha Christie Details

TitleIn the Shadow of Agatha Christie
Author
ReleaseJan 2nd, 2018
PublisherPegasus Books
ISBN-139781681776309
Rating
GenreMystery, Short Stories, Crime, Historical Mystery, Anthologies

In the Shadow of Agatha Christie Review

  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    This collection of classic crime fiction by forgotten authors, from 1850-1917, highlights some of the female authors of that period who were the forerunners of the great Golden Age crime authors – not only Agatha Christie, but Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham and others. Each of the featured authors is given a potted biography, putting them and their work in context, which is followed by a short story, which is representative of their writing.Some of these authors will be famili This collection of classic crime fiction by forgotten authors, from 1850-1917, highlights some of the female authors of that period who were the forerunners of the great Golden Age crime authors – not only Agatha Christie, but Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham and others. Each of the featured authors is given a potted biography, putting them and their work in context, which is followed by a short story, which is representative of their writing.Some of these authors will be familiar – such as Elizabeth Gaskell and Baroness Orzy. However, others are now out of print and largely forgotten. Likewise, some of the early ‘crime’ stories in this collection are not necessarily familiar in terms of what we think of crime fiction today. For example, “The Advocate’s Wedding Day,” by Catherine Crow (1900-1876) features a story set shortly after the French Revolution; involving a feud between two men – one a former member of the gentry, with the other a member of the lower classes. This involves a court case and has a more supernatural feel to it. Other stories though involve events that we associate with crime novels from the later period – crime foggy London streets, roving tramps, murder in fashionable hotels and stolen jewels.Overall, this is an interesting collection, which will appeal to anyone interested in the history of crime writing. The stories and authors contained in this collection are:The Advocate’s Wedding Day: Catherine CroweThe Squire’s Story: Elizabeth Cleghorn GaskellTraces of Crime: Mary FortuneMr Furbush: Harriet Prescott SpoffordMrs Todhetley’s Earrings: Ellen WoodCatching a Burglar: Elizabeth CorbettThe Ghost of Fountain Lane: C.L. PirkisThe Statement of Jared Johnson: Geraldine BonnerPoint in Morals: Ellen GlasgowThe Blood-Red Cross: L.T. Meade and Robert EustaceThe Regents Park Murder: Baroness OrczyThe Case of the Registered Letter: Augusta GronerThe Winning Sequence: M.E. BraddonMissing: Page Thirteen: Anna Katherine GreenThe Adventures of the Clothes-Line: Carolyn WellsJury of Her Peers: Susan Glaspell
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    A great book for the crime loving reader. The author gives an excellent introduction and mentions authors that I had not even heard of before, some I'd heard of but had never read any of their books. Klinger has put together an excellent compilation of crime stories, a book definitely worth reading.Many thanks to Netgalley for the advanced digital copy.
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  • Judy Lesley
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and Pegasus Books for a digital galley of this book.From the standpoint of learning about the roles women played in writing crime fiction published between 1850 and 1917 this book was interesting and successful. On a personal level the stories were not quite as engaging as a whole for me. I did not reach for pen and paper even once to jot down the name of an author I wanted to explore further. The premise of this book is to show that the successes of Agatha Christie have c Thank you to NetGalley and Pegasus Books for a digital galley of this book.From the standpoint of learning about the roles women played in writing crime fiction published between 1850 and 1917 this book was interesting and successful. On a personal level the stories were not quite as engaging as a whole for me. I did not reach for pen and paper even once to jot down the name of an author I wanted to explore further. The premise of this book is to show that the successes of Agatha Christie have cast the writings of the authors presented here into a shadowy area so their work isn't given as much attention and credit for advancing the female crime fiction writers efforts. In other words, Christie would not have been so successful without the efforts of those women whose work came before her. My take on this collection is that now I understand just how well the Christie books are written. Granted each Agatha Christie novel isn't a literary masterpiece, but taken as a whole I have no trouble settling myself down to read any of the Christie books again and again. All of this doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy some of the stories collected in this volume, because I did, just not as many as I would have expected.There is an Introduction by Leslie S. Klinger which provides background information for the state of crime fiction publication by women from 1850 through 1917. In this introduction many female authors are discussed, not just those who have a story presented in the collection. Each story has a brief biographical segment about the author, some historical information regarding her novel and story publication and usually a publication date for the featured story. So many of the women wrote their stories under one or more pseudonyms so that information is provided also. The following is a list of the author and their story included in this book:Catherine Crowe - The Advocate's Wedding DayElizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell - The Squire's StoryMary Fortune - Traces of CrimeHarriet Prescott Spofford - Mr. FurbushEllen Wood - Mrs. Todhetley's EarringsElizabeth Corbett - Catching A BurglarC. L. Pirkis - The Ghost of Fountain LaneGeraldine Bonner - The Statement of Jared JohnsonEllen Glasgow - Point in MoralsL. T. Meade and Robert Eustace - The Blood-Red CrossBaroness Orczy - The Regent's Park MurderAugusta Groner - The Case of the Registered LetterM. E. Braddon - The Winning SequenceAnna Katherine Green - Missing: Page ThirteenCarolyn Wells - The Adventure of the Clothes-LineSusan Glaspell - Jury of Her PeersSixteen stories are presented from authors you may not be familiar with. If you are interested in reading stories from female authors who made a difference in the history of crime fiction, this will be a great place to begin your exploration of that subject.
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  • Thebooktrail
    January 1, 1970
    Every great crime writer and reader loves Agatha Christie - she is the Queen of Crime,and many writers today are still inspired by her.But what about the writers who came before her and helped her to be able to write as she did? The women who paved the way for MsChristie. Well, this was a lovely set of stories,a good collection of some cosy ones, police led ones, and a variety of crimes and victims too. I hadn't heard of all the writers in the book but that's the delight of a selection box of go Every great crime writer and reader loves Agatha Christie - she is the Queen of Crime,and many writers today are still inspired by her.But what about the writers who came before her and helped her to be able to write as she did? The women who paved the way for MsChristie. Well, this was a lovely set of stories,a good collection of some cosy ones, police led ones, and a variety of crimes and victims too. I hadn't heard of all the writers in the book but that's the delight of a selection box of goodies like this - some you know you're going to like and others you discover and now have more things to enjoy! a great idea to have just female writers and those who helped pave the way for Agatha and every (female) crime writer since. This would make a lovely present for all crime readers!
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  • Yibbie
    January 1, 1970
    Klinger has done a wonderful job of bringing together a collection of forgotten gems of early crime fiction. Before Agatha Christie there was Catherine Crowe, Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, Mary Helena Fortune, Harriet Prescott Spofford, Ellen Wood, Mrs. George Corbett, Catherine Louisa Pirkis, Geraldine Bonner, Ellen Glasgow, Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith, Baroness Emma Magdolna Rozalia Maria Jozefa Borbala Orczy de Orci, Augusta Groner, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Anna Catherine Green, Carolyn Well Klinger has done a wonderful job of bringing together a collection of forgotten gems of early crime fiction. Before Agatha Christie there was Catherine Crowe, Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, Mary Helena Fortune, Harriet Prescott Spofford, Ellen Wood, Mrs. George Corbett, Catherine Louisa Pirkis, Geraldine Bonner, Ellen Glasgow, Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith, Baroness Emma Magdolna Rozalia Maria Jozefa Borbala Orczy de Orci, Augusta Groner, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Anna Catherine Green, Carolyn Wells, and Susan Glaspell. Some of them were wonderful authors, some not so great, but all pioneers. This is a collection of their short stories. Even though it these are all crime stories, they vary quite a bit. The plots cover everything from fairly simple burglary stories to wildly complicated murder frames, and ghost stories. The styles vary from police procedurals to tales of suspense and even a farce. Even the settings are quite diverse, most are set in England and America, but others are set in Austria and Australia. Some of them would be considered classics, others pulp, but all are fun reads, all but that really tragic one. The introduction to the book gives a quick history of the crime fiction genre. Then each story is prefaced with a quick history of that particular author's writing career. I really appreciated how clean the stories are. I would recommend this collection to anyone. I received this as a free ARC through Net Galley and Pegasus Books. No favorable review was required. These are my honest opinions.
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    It is not often that I enjoy a foreword, but this book has probably one of the best forewords ever. Klinger clearly has researched the field of female crime fiction writers in great detail and is incredibly knowledgeable. Yet, overall, the book suffered from the anthology curse: It rises or falls with the weaker stories and there are quite a few week stories. Clearly not Klinger's fault, after all, the output of those ladies is not his responsibility and I think, he will have chosen the stories It is not often that I enjoy a foreword, but this book has probably one of the best forewords ever. Klinger clearly has researched the field of female crime fiction writers in great detail and is incredibly knowledgeable. Yet, overall, the book suffered from the anthology curse: It rises or falls with the weaker stories and there are quite a few week stories. Clearly not Klinger's fault, after all, the output of those ladies is not his responsibility and I think, he will have chosen the stories that are in his opinion the strongest. So all in all, an interesting journey, but the sights were so-so. I would love to read more on this topic though, so I hope he will continue publishing books about forgotten female writers.
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  • Annarella
    January 1, 1970
    A very good collection of short stories of women mystery writer who wrote before Agatha Christie. Most of them are unknown to most of people but their stories are an interesting reading.A good way to rediscover some female writers who are unfortunately forgotten.Many thanks to Netgalley and Pegasus Books for giving me the change to review this book.
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    "In the Shadow of Agatha Christie" is a collection of 16 short story mysteries that were originally published between 1850 and 1917. They were set in France, England, Australia, Austria, and America. Some of the stories were a person talking about a crime after it was solved, so it's more a "crime story" than a "mystery." The stories that followed someone as they solved a mystery were usually pretty straight-forward and involved few clues. Short stories can't be very complex, but some of the aut "In the Shadow of Agatha Christie" is a collection of 16 short story mysteries that were originally published between 1850 and 1917. They were set in France, England, Australia, Austria, and America. Some of the stories were a person talking about a crime after it was solved, so it's more a "crime story" than a "mystery." The stories that followed someone as they solved a mystery were usually pretty straight-forward and involved few clues. Short stories can't be very complex, but some of the authors relied upon the clever crime to hold the reader's interest whereas others developed the main characters as well. I enjoyed about 2/3rds of the stories and thought "Jury of Her Peers" was the best of the collection. There was no sex. There was a very minor amount of bad language."The Advocate's Wedding Day" by Catherine Crowe (originally published 1850, set late 1790s)"The Squire's Story" by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (pub. 1853, set 1769-1775)"Traces of Crime" by Mary Fortune (pub. 1865)"Mr Furbush" by Harriet Prescott Spofford (pub. 1865)"Mrs. Todhetley's Earrings" by Ellen Wood (pub. 1873)"Catching a Burglar" by Elizabeth Corbett (pub. 1893)"The Ghost of Fountain Lane" by C. L. Pirkis (pub. 1893)"The Statement of Jared Johnson" by Geraldine Bonner (pub. 1899)"Point in Morals" by Ellen Glasgow (pub. 1899)"The Blood-Red Cross" by L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace (pub. 1902, set Nov. 1899)"The Regent's Park Murder" by Baroness Orczy (pub. 1901)"The Case of the Registered Letter" by Augusta Groner (pub. 1910)"The Winning Sequence" by M.E. Braddon (pub. 1896)"Missing: Page Thirteen" by Anna Katherine Green (pub. 1915)"The Adventures of the Clothes-Line" by Carolyn Wells (pub. 1903)"Jury of Her Peers" by Susan Glashell (pub. 1917)I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
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  • Eric
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and Pegasus Books for the digital ARC.I think the title of this might mislead some readers as there is nothing remotely Agatha Christie-like about these stories. They are interesting in themselves as a demonstration of the kind of crime fiction that existed before World War One, whether written by men or women: I do not think that there is a particularly feminine slant to these.Nor are some of these authors as neglected as the editor and some reviewers have asserted. Certa Thank you to NetGalley and Pegasus Books for the digital ARC.I think the title of this might mislead some readers as there is nothing remotely Agatha Christie-like about these stories. They are interesting in themselves as a demonstration of the kind of crime fiction that existed before World War One, whether written by men or women: I do not think that there is a particularly feminine slant to these.Nor are some of these authors as neglected as the editor and some reviewers have asserted. Certainly in Britain, Elizabeth Gaskell, CL Purkis, LT Meade, Baroness Orczy, Anna Katherine Green and Carolyn Wells are still read and I have heard some of their stories dramatised by the BBC.In any collection there will be some entries which are stronger and more memorable than others. Here the standout story by a long way was “Jury of Her Peers".Below is a list of the tales with some of my notes which may be of interest.1.The Advocate’s Wedding Day-Catherine Crowe ( English 1800-76)- Interesting tale of justice done with a slight supernatural twist.(1850)2. The Squire’s Story- Elizabeth Gaskell (Biography is too dismissive)- Well-written conscience crime story.(1853)3.Traces of Crime-Mary Fortune (Australian 1833-1910) Detective finds clues to solve cases of assault and murder in the goldfields (1865)4.Mr Furbush- Harriet Spofford (American 1835-1921) Detective solves murder with help of magnified photo.(1865)5.Mrs Todhetley’s Earrings-Ellen Wood (Mrs Henry Wood 1814-1887)A Johnny Ludlow story of an earring lost and found.(1873)6.Catching a Burglar-Mrs George (Elizabeth) Corbett (English 1846-1930) Lady private detective Dora Bell helps catch burglars.(1892)7.The Ghost of Fountain Lane- C L Purkis (English 1839-1910) Loveday Brooke investigates a stolen cheque and a ghost. How are they connected?(1893)8.The Statement of Jared Johnson-Geraldine Bonner (American 1870-1930) Reporter saves a man accused of murder. Highly original method of killing.(1899)9.Point in Morals-Ellen Glasgow (American1873-1945) Odd tale. Was he a murderer?(1899)10.The Blood-Red Cross-L T Meade (English 1844-1914) and Robert Eustace- Neat little story of evil adventuress thwarted by detectives.(1902)11. The Regent’s Park Murder-Baroness Orczy (1865-1947) Polly Burton and the Old Man in the Corner story.Solution of a murder but no proof. (1901)12. The Case of the Registered Letter-Augusta Groner (Austrian 1850-1929) Detective Muller investigates a strange murder case. Too long. Dull.(1910?)13. The Winning Sequence-Mary Bradden (1835-1915)Ghost story and a crime. Weak. (1896)14.Missing Page Thirteen- Anna Katherine Green (1846-1935) Violet Strange story of a page of a formula gone missing and a past ghost laid (1915)15.The Adventure of the Clothes-Line- Carolyn Wells (1870-1942) Amusing send-up of the famous members of the Society of Infallible Detectives. (1915)16.Jury of her Peers-Susan Glaspell (1876-1948) Women work out the motive for a crime-from trifles (1917)Highly recommended.
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  • Andréa
    January 1, 1970
    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
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