Who wrote the first Detective Novel?
Pie first DETECTIVE NOVEL was Recollections of a Detective Police Officer by ‘Waters’, published by J. & C. Brown in June 1856. The story was entirely fictional, though it purported to be the autobiography of a real Metropolitan Police detective. The author was William Russell. Recollections also achieved the distinction of being the first detective novel to be translated into a foreign language, appearing in German (1857) and in French (1868). ‘Waters’ was not, however, the first fictional detective to make his appearance in an English novel. Charles Dickens, who early took an interest in the nascent detective force and published a series of articles about it in Household Words in 1850, created the character. Inspector Bucket, whose investigations occupied 14 of the 66 chapters of Bleak House (London 1853). Bucket is believed to have beer, based on the real-life Inspector Field of the Metropolitan Police, who was personally known to the author.
The first detective novel by an author of repute and the first to break away from the ‘autobiographical’ form of Russell and his imitators, was Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone, published in three volumes by Tinsley of London in July 1868. this is also claimed to be the longest detective story ever written, totaling some 900 pages. The detective. Sergeant Cuff, was based on Superintendent Foley, who had figured. prominently in the controversial Constance Kent or `Road Murder’ case of 1860, from which the plot of the book is derived.
The female detective made her appearance as early as 1862 in Wilkie Collins’s No Name, though only as an incidental character. Probably the first detective novel to feature a woman in the role of investigator was The Recollections of a Lady Detective, Anon London, 1864. Thus the fictional lady detective made her appearance some 60 years before her real-like counterpart.