To celebrate, we're reprinting Carolyn Hart's piece on how come Poe is considered mystery's founding father, along with a few words from each of us on what it's meant to be one of Poe's Deadly Daughters.
From "The History of the Mystery"
by Carolyn Hart
(InSinC: The Sisters in Crime Newsletter, Vol. XIX, No. 4)
Elements of the mystery are present in much literature, both ancient and modern, but the world waited until Edgar Allan Poe for the first true mystery stories....Poe...create[d] the first amateur detective, Auguste Dupin....[T]he modern mystery traces its beginning to the publication in 1841 of The Murders in the Rue Morgue. All of the elements necessary for a mystery novel were first gathered together in fiction by Poe:
The amateur detective whose exploits were chronicled by an admiring friend
The locked room mystery
An innocent suspect in jeopardy
Careful detection through following clues fairly offered
A trap laid for the true villain
The solution through the efforts of the detective
The first series character
All of this was achieved by Poe in three stories, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget, and The Purloined Letter.
As the only then unpublished mystery writer in the group, I felt honored to be invited to join Poe's Deadly Daughters. Death Will Get You Sober had just been accepted by St. Martin's, and a year later, it's still creeping toward publication, though my short story, "Death Will Clean Your Closet," appeared in November in Murder New York Style with others by members of Sisters in Crime. I'd never been a blogger or a reader of blogs. So first, I had to figure out how to do it. I didn't know that my weekly blogging deadline would make me into something not far from a journalist: a writer who can turn out an appropriate 500 to 800 word piece on demand about just about anything. Nor did I dream I'd get to know so many luminaries in the field—writers I've admired for decades and rising stars—by interviewing them for Poe's Deadly Daughters: Nancy Pickard, Julie Smith, Carolyn Hart, Jeremiah Healy, Laurie King, Rhys Bowen, Alafair Burke, Sandra Scoppetone, and Lee Goldberg. But best of all: What a joy to have "blog sisters!"
I have soooo enjoyed blogging with the other PDDs, and reading their posts, not to mention all of our guest bloggers and interviewees! And I've spent an enjoyable time reading my PDD sisters' books! And learning more about Poe, though I've been a fan of his works for many years.
This year I will be very busy promoting my new series, so the Metropolis Series, featuring Sheriff Joe Dalton will be on hold, at least until 2009. I hope to see book #5 in that series published then. Meanwhile, I'm working on the second '57 series book, crossing my fingers that it will be published by Five Star. Fifty-Seven Heaven received good reviews from Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly.
Writing down our stories is fun and satisfying for authors, at least until we hit a dead end or can't decide where to take the story next. Which generally results in long walks, multiple games of Spider Solitare, and sneak attacks on our secret stash of chocolates (light or dark, your choice.) The most satisfying part of writing for any author is hearing our readers say how much they've enjoyed our books. So please accept my personal thanks to all of you who read this blog and also read our books.
What a hoot this first year has been, except maybe for the week where I forgot what day was Tuesday, and missed the blog all together. Writing for an audience has helped me clarify many things that I thought I knew, until I sat down to write about them. Then I had to really think. This whole year has been like a scrapbook of the mind, going all the way from my mother's cookbook to more information about bats than anyone should have. And the best thing was it all, somehow, related to mystery-writing.
The absolute highlight of the year was hearing from an old friend, who "googled" me, found the blog, and got in touch. So, B.L. (and your friend Matt D.) this one's for you. Hugs, Sharon
I've greatly enjoyed my year with the Deadly Daughters. I have found that, aside from being able to work with women who share my interest in mystery writing and reading, I am able to count on the daughters as a supportive network of friends. I don't know if I'm already having the "senior moments" my mother complains of, or if they are more like "harassed working mother moments," but I've done my fair share of forgetting and mistake-making, and in every case the daughters swooped in to my aid. Will there ever be a finer group of co-bloggers? Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.
As the newest Deadly Daughter I had the advantage of joining Sandy, Liz, Lonnie, Julia and Sharon after all the hard work was done. (And it was an honour to be invited to join them.) In the past year I've had one book published and another has sold. And with the encouragement of my fellow bloggers I've started working on that mystery I always said I was going to write. A couple of old college friends found me through this blog. I made one of my writing idols (Tess Gerrittsen) laugh when I shared my semi-deluded belief that we sort of look alike. I made new friends. I gained new readers. Thank you, everyone.
I'm the one who swore she would never blog -- and look at me now, a year into it and enjoying it more than I thought possible. 2007 was a head-spinning year for me, and one of the best things about it was working with this great group of women writers. I've also loved having the excuse -- er, opportunity -- to ask some wonderful writers a lot of nosy questions in interviews. I hope our loyal readers have enjoyed the past year as much as we have. Stick with us -- we have a lot more in store for you!
To our readers: The one mystery we've never been able to solve is how to get you all to leave more comments, even those of you who tell us privately that you visit regularly. So please help us celebrate our anniversary by checking in. Just click on the Comments link right below this blog, type in a greeting or what you like about Poe's Deadly Daughters or what you'd like to see more of from us, and click on Publish Your Comment. It's dead easy. ;)