On April 20, 1841, Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" was published in Graham's Magazine. That story is now widely regarded as the first piece of detective fiction, and inspired many of the detectives, PIs, and sleuths we know and love today. To celebrate the occasion, we've gathered some of the most iconic works of detective fiction through the past 175 years.
Plus - listen to "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" in Channels!
Earliest Known Works
The Original Queens of Crime
There is perhaps no detective more famous than Sherlock Holmes. From Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories to the hit series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, the classic sleuth has captured the imaginations of mystery fans worldwide and has inspired countless other characters and series. This Audie Award-winning collection features all four of Doyle's classic novels and more than forty short stories, all narrated by the incomparable Simon Vance, whose performance many listeners have described as simply "perfect".
Classic Detectives, Inspectors & Private Eyes
Staff Pick: Classic Detective
"Travis McGee spends his days and nights on a houseboat. He often finds himself fighting off a woman with one hand and grabbing a drink with the other. He has deep philosophical discussions with his best friend, a noted economist. And he lives to help people (for just a small finder’s fee). But most of all, Travis McGee is the gold standard who influenced the likes of Lee Child, Dean Koontz, Michael Connelly, and Carl Hiaasen. This is a series I return to again and again, and I never fail to appreciate how John D. MacDonald aged and evolved McGee, and created a memorable character who was both of his time and ahead of his time." - Steve F.
"Compassionate. Introspective. Spiritual. Determined. Tough. Not the typical adjectives associated with a law man (ok, maybe just not the first three). But then again, Walt Longmire is not your typical sheriff. He is a throwback, comparable to the heroes of classic Westerns, with a strong sense of duty, but with a dash of inner darkness. Throw in a stellar supporting cast - Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Vic Moretti, The Ferg, Ruby, and more - and you get a series that rises to the top of the genre. And saving the best for last, is the genre-defining narration of George Guidall, who (to use an over-used, but applicable cliché) was born to be the voice of Walt Longmire (as all those 5-Star reviews will attest to!)." - John W.