I am intrigued by anything and everything related to detection. I used to read and nowadays watch everything “whodunit.” I try to understand and in my daily life replicate the methods of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. In my Mystery Fiction class at UC Berkeley Extension, I learned that the first fictional detective was created by Edgar Allan Poe in 1841 short story The Murders in Rue Morgue. Reading about the development of fictional detectives led me to question about the first human detectives. Who were the humans, not the fictional characters, that started detecting? Did they read the fictional detectives’ methods and techniques? Did police, law, and people accepted and celebrated them? Or these detectives had to fight to be heard?
I assume that the first detective was a man. Oh! Please don’t try to fight my generalization. America still doesn’t have a woman president. Indira Gandhi governed India from 1980-1984, but as a woman who lived in India for 30 years I know that women are still not treated equal.
If the first detective was a man, where was he based? What was his first case? Was he successful? Did he make money? Was he a rough-tough guy with a ‘heart of gold?’ Who was the first female detective? How difficult or easy was her life? Did her fellow men detectives give her ‘you-are-a-woman-so-raise-a-family’ attitude? What and where was the first detective agency?
So many questions. I am hoping to quest my curiously and post my findings on this blog. As I live in US and because I emigrated from India, I am limiting my study to American’s and India’s First Detectives. If you have suggestions, comments, or you want to add some information, use the reply section. Or if for some reason you want to contact me email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am crossing my fingers to start detecting the world of detectives.