The Notting Hill Mystery Book Cover

The Notting Hill Mystery

Charles W. Adams, a.k.a. "Charles Felix"

Genre: Detective Novel
Published: 1862

The first detective novel had been historically credited to Wilkie Collins's "The Moonstone," published in 1868. In 1975, however, "The Notting Hill Mystery" was revealed in the Times of London. The novel is held by many critics to be the first true detective novel, and far ahead of its time. But it's author was unknown.

Originally in Once A Week in late 1862, the magazine's editors said the manuscript was submitted anonymously under the pseudonym "Charles Felix", whose identity remained largely unknown until 2011 when the New York Times published an article revealing the author to be Charles Warren Adams.

Insurance investigator Ralph Henderson attempts to build a case again Baron R., suspected of murdering his wife, who had entered her husband's laboratory while sleepwalking and swallowing acid. The baron had taken out five insurance policies on his wife, and is a professional mesmerist. The baron appears to have committed the perfect crime, and Henderson is left with the challenge of revealing his guilt and ultimately the task of catching the baron.

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