William "Wilkie" Collins was born in London in 1824. The name "Wilkie", by which he is known, was the surname of his godfather. In 1851, he met Charles Dickens and became the editor of Dickens' periodical Household Words. His novels were serialized in another of Dickens' publications, All the Year Round, and he is probably best known for two of them: "The Moonstone" and "The Woman in White". He wrote 30 novels and many short stories, plays, and much nonfiction. He is generally regarded as the first detective-fiction writer.
Four of his short stories are offered here: "The Dead Hand", "A Stolen Letter", "Who Killed Zebedee", "The Ostler" (The Dream Woman).