From the Editor
The Westminster Detective Library is a work in progress. I welcome and solicit comments and would particularly appreciate additional bibliographical entries and texts to add to the library's collection.
The editorial policy is to modernize spelling and punctuation, but not to alter grammar in the stories. However, for clear typographical errors (e.g. "shool" for "school") and illegible text we have inserted corrections in square brackets.
The site is dedicated to the memory of my collaborator, LeRoy Lad Panek (1943-2021), professor of English and foremost scholar of detective fiction. Winner of two Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Awards (for Watteau’s Shepherds: The Detective Novel in Britain 1914-1940 and An Introduction to the Detective Story), Professor Panek wrote 11 books and together we edited an anthology and co-authored a critical examination of early detective fiction. His last book, Nineteenth Century Detective Fiction: An Analytical History, was published in September 2021. He was the driving force behind the Westminster Detective Library and the site is a testament to his tireless efforts to find and transcribe stories.
Mary M. Bendel-Simso
Professor of English
2 College Hill | Westminster, MD 21157
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Samantha Stair Azat
Sara Krome French
Joseph M. Ottomano
Tyler Van Dyke
Web Design & Development
Professors Panek and Bendel-Simso are the editors of Early American Detective Stories: An Anthology
In The Essential Elements of the Detective Story, 1820–1891, they consider the development of the detective story based on a critical examination of the stories on this site.
This site is hosted by
Financial support for Student-Faculty Summer Research has been provided by:
McDaniel College Provost’s Summer Research Fund
The Mellon Foundation
The Fund for the Humanities
The Salomon Undergraduate Summer Research Fund and
The Nancy C. Gaston Student-Faculty Research Fund