Mother of Detective Fiction: the Life and Works of Anna Katharine Green

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When The Leavenworth Case, Anna Katharine Green s first novel, was published in 1878, it quickly became a bestseller as well as a seminal work of detective fiction. Critics were to perceive Green s work as the link to Edgar Allan Poe in the American line of classic detective fiction. But the development of serial detectives is perhaps her greatest achievement. (Ebenezer Gryce of the New York Metropolitan Police, who makes his first appearance in 1878, precedes Sherlock Holmes by almost a decade.) In examining the life and works of Anna Katharine Green, one discovers a slice of American life: in the social events of New York City, in the plight of young working women, in the moral dilemmas of upright citizens pursuing the American dream.