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
McDaniel College
2 College Hill | Westminster, MD 21157
P: 410-857-2426

Special Thanks

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Samantha Stair Azat
Cassandra Berube
Mable Buchanan
Eve Calderon-Caswell
Micaela Champion
Kayla Douglas
Elizabeth Ennis
Sara Krome French
Weston Funk
Brenna Gutshall
George Hainaj
Becca Halaney
Sarah Knaggs
Tusannah Krauss
Marya Kuratova
Sydney Lewis
Alex Maragos
Anne Mathews
Brenna Mayberry
Shannon McClellan
Grace Miller
Megan Mitchell
Eliza Nixon
Camden Ostrander
Joseph M. Ottomano
Jayla Pickeral
Laurel Pogue
Emily Renfro
May Riekenberg
Thea Robertson
Emily Roderick
Margaret Self
Daniel Stefanelli
Celia Sterrn
Briana Sutton
Izzi Sweet
Tyler Van Dyke
Lelia Vetter
Jenna Warren
Danielle Wendt
Jackie White
Caroline Willis
Cara Woolston
Nathan Wright

Web Design & Development

Austin Royal
Kenny Huether

Professors Panek and Bendel-Simso are the editors of Early American Detective Stories: An Anthology

anthology cover

McFarland, 2008.

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.

Book cover of The Essential Elements of the Detective Story, 1820–1891

McFarland, 2017.

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Financial support for Student-Faculty Summer Research has been provided by:

McDaniel College Provosts 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