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The Notting Hill Mystery
Charles Warren Adams
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The Notting Hill Mystery

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  193 ratings  ·  68 reviews
'The Notting Hill Mystery' was first published between 1862 and 1863 as an eight-part serial in the magazine 'Once a Week', written under the pseudonym Charles Felix. It has been widely described as the first detective novel, pre-dating as it does other novels such as Wilkie Collins' 'The Moonstone' (1868) and Emile Gaboriau's first Monsieur Lecoq novel (1869) that have pr ...more
Unknown Binding, 475 pages
Published January 1st 1976 by Arno Press (first published 1862)
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Ivonne Rovira
Before Émile Gaboriau’s L'affaire Lerouge (1866), Wilkie CollinsThe Moonstone (1868), or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet (1886), there was The Notting Hill Mystery. Written under the pen name Charles Felix (now believed to be Charles Warren Adams) and first serialized in 1862 in a magazine, it became the first detective novel when it was published in one volume in 1865.

Before I got an ARC of this book from NetGalley, I had heard of neither the author nor the novel. The Notting Hill
M.R. Graham
The Premise:

The Notting Hill Mystery is, according to the introduction, either the first true detective story or among the first true detective stories, though it departs a little from the type by featuring not a police or private detective, but an insurance investigator, and by presenting all the gathered evidence without presenting the investigation by which the evidence was acquired.

Baron R- has recently insured his wife for a startling sum. Obviously, doubts begin to arise when she does, in
Jul 04, 2014 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wanda, Jeannette, Virginie
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From FreeLiterature:
The Notting Hill Mystery (1862-1863) - arguably the first English detective novel - published in 8 episodes in Once a Week (Illustrated by George Du Maurier) - Charles Felix a pseudo. of Charles Warren Adams.

Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

A classical mystery fiction, with some hints of gothic style of the 19th century which certainly influenced many writers.

[It is unnecessary for us to state by what means the following papers came into our hands, and it would b
Judy Lesley
I thought this was a wonderful book but that is probably because I am a fan of the older mysteries and enjoy seeing how authors approached the genre in its young days. In this case, not just an infant but practically it's birth day. You might appreciate this novel more if you forget about it being billed as a detective novel because it definitely is not that. Instead you have an investigation presented from the point of view of an investigator for an insurance company into the death of someone t ...more
Clear and concise procedural, first detective novel written

This book is written through a series of testimonies given by parties present at the deaths of three people, a husband and his wife and the wife of the Baron, a mesmeriser. At stake is a double insurance policy. It was a slow, often tedious read. As I slogged to the end, with time to reflect upon the writing, I realized this is an incredible book, one that should be read by mystery writers today. Too many times I read a mystery only to b
Frances Brody
This story was first published in 1862 and 1863 as a magazine serial, giving the author's name as Charles Felix. The book caught my eye in the library because of the line under the title claiming it to be 'The First Detective Novel'. The story is told by an insurance investigator who is reporting to several companies. With each company, Baron R insured his wife's life for a considerable sum. The investigator builds a case against the baron, whom he suspects of murdering his wife.

The story-tellin
A fun read, but definitely NOT the first detective novel. "The Notting Hill Mystery" is sort of like Law & Order for the Victorian period: heavy emphasis on compiled evidence, interviews, deposition, etc. We do not know the detective at all as a person, and we do not follow in his detective work. If compiled evidence + conclusions about a crime = a detective novel, then Collins' Woman in White fits the bill and came earlier (in 1859). To me, though, a detective novel needs a detective -- eit ...more
Tim Prasil
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Considered the first detection mystery, this British Library edition of a classic of its kind begins with a introduction by Mike Ashley that gives us a good short history of this book and its author and other similar novels from the same time period and an explanation why they are not considered the first detection novel. A good way to begin.

The story itself is in the epistolary construction like so many of the books from the 19th century and is none the less interesting for all that. Adams (who
Lorna Holland
Full review now up on my blog:

The structure is very different and possibly even unique compared to other detective/crime fiction I’ve read. As it’s told through Henderson’s perspective layered over the facts, it comes across as very clinical in its approach. I know that sounds boring, but I actually really liked it. I also liked that parts were told from different witness’ perspectives because that made it sound much more like a real, genuine crime case r
Ella's Gran
A good example of procedural investigation presented to the reader in epistolary style. The language was typically wordy and appropriate to the Victorian era it is set in. While much of the story was quite repetitive - gather statements, compare, report evidence - this is how a case is built, and even though the culprit was reasonably clear from the beginning, I did enjoy reading The Notting Hill Mystery.
Rather far fetched in places, you maybe required to suspend your disbelief, fun overall.
Dare I say that I enjoyed The Notting Hill Mystery at least as much as Wilkie Collin's A Woman in White? What if I say I liked it even more?! Granted, it has been a few years since I've read A Woman in White. But Notting Hill was such a surprisingly wonderfully old-fashioned mystery, and, with good reason, I suppose, since it was published in the 1860s!

If you enjoy sensational Victorian novels, this one proves a satisfying treat. The "hero" of the novel has collected all the evidence he can abo
Arguably the first detective novel, but certainly not a Whodunnit by any stretch of the imagination. I really enjoyed reading the Notting Hill Mystery and that's why I've given it 3 stars but there are lots of things I didn't like about it and that may annoy potential readers.

I forgave it's repetitive style, it's lack of suspects/mystery and it's over-reliance on the supernatural and the physically impossible purely because I liked reading something of it's time and involving detection and sleut
Anyone interested in the roots of the Detective Mystery genre, as I am, will want to read The Notting Hill Mystery (1862). There are reasons to call it, as many have, the first detective story. There is also controversy. Traditionally, Edgar Allan Poe is the granddaddy of the detective story: Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841), and Wilkie Collins is the inventor of the mystery novel: Woman in White (1859) and Moonstone (1968). Where does Charles Warren Adams fit in?

That is basically the question t
Jul 04, 2014 Wanda marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wanda by: Laura
4 JUL 2014 -- recommended by Laura. Many thanks to Laura for her tireless devotion to Project Gutenberg. Through her dedication, we are afforded the opportunity of so many great free books!

Find this one here --
I received this novel from NetGalley for an honest and impartial review. Thank you for the opportunity!

This is unlike any book that I've read before to be honest. It was wordy in some parts which made it difficult to hold my attention but I am glad that I pushed through. It was interesting that the story is told through different witness reports, letters, interviews etc along with the main character, insurance investigator Ralph Henderson.
This is supposed to be the 'first detective story every
2 stars. Interesting concept but I found the style unappealing especially in the beginning. The exposition at the end also seemed to go on a tad too long as well. ...more
Interesting. King of a weird book.
This book is thought to be the first detective mystery printed after it appeared in serial form in 1682. I found the format difficult and some of the words used I needed to look up their meaning. The format consisted of dispositions from witnesses and the narrator was an insurance investigator. The background of the case was given first. Twin girls were borned and both parents are dead. One twin disappears believe to kidnap by a band of Gypsies. When one was sick the other became ill. The latter ...more
3 stars

This novel is presented in the manner of a report written by an insurance investigator for his clients. It includes witness statements and his personal summations. A most unusual approach, especially considering that it was written in 1862-1863 and ran in print for the first time as a serial story. It is recognized as the first detective novel written in English. I'm glad I read it, but the report style made it a lot like reading a report, not something I generally do for fun. It was rou
Nancy Bekofske
The Notting Hill Mystery by Charles Warren Adams is purportedly the first full-length modern English-language Detective Novel, serialized in 1862-3 and published in 1865. It predates Wilkie Collin's The Moonstone, which was serialized in 1868. Poison Pen Press's new edition of The Notting Hill Mystery includes an introduction tracing the history of the Detective genre, establishing Adam's novel's place in the genre.

Adams wrote under the name of Charles Felix, and had published an earlier crime n
Kyle Pennekamp
This book is undoubtably, according to new research, the first mystery novel every written. I first heard about it a few months ago in an article in the NYTimes... they finally solved the mystery of who its author is.

As a mystery aficionado, I thought it my duty to track it down. I actually had to go to and get the British Library (who has been digitizing its archives) to digitally copy one from its serial publication in a magazine in the 1860s,
Buku yang diterbitkan tahun 1863 ini konon adalah novel detektif yang pertama di dunia. Pertama kali beredar sebagai kisah bersambung 8 seri di sebuah majalah mingguan Once a Week, dan bagian pertamanya muncul pada 29 November 1862. Nama pengarangnya - Charles Felix - sangat misterius, karena merupakan sebuah nama pena dari orang yang dirahasiakan oleh pihak penerbit. Berdasarkan penelitian akhir, disimpulkan bahwa Charles Felix adalah pseudonim dari Charles Warren Adams yang tidak lain adalah p ...more
Sulis Peri Hutan
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Tadinya girang lihat teh cangkir lainnya, wah sapa tau tehnya lebih enak, tapi ternyata... baru mulai minum aja udah tersedak, coba diminum lagi eh malah tenggorokan gatel, apa belum dicuci ya cangkirnya? tapi enggak loh, cangkirnya bersih, mulus. Apa yang salah tehnya? kodisinya bagus kok, sebelumnya aja minum teh yang sama. Jadi kesimpulannya emang bukan teh cangkir saya, belum terbiasa sama rasa yang saya inginkan sama ketika saya memakai can
By Charles Felix
Penerbit Visimedia
Alih Bahasa : Lulu Fitri Rahman
Editor : Muthia Esfand
Proofreader : Tim Readaksi Visimedia
Desain Cover : Nuruli Khotimah
Gambar Sampul : Aminudin Hadinugroho
Cetakan I : Juli 2012 ; 252 hlm
Rate : 4 of 5

Sebagai penggemar kisah misteri, salah satu poin yang membuat kisah tersebut sangat menarik adalah ‘permainan’ ide dan tema yang ‘sederhana’ namun memiliki kepelikan tersendiri dalam detail serta metode analisa untuk mengungkapkan
I find it hard to rate this book. It is interesting as an historical object (the first detective novel), but I could only read it in short bursts and the solution is unrealistic. It is written as an insurance investigator's notes to his company which is an interesting ploy. The solution is based on mesmerism, co-incidence, and a child stolen by gypsies: would not pass muster today. However, I was not expecting a modern book and cannot fault it for being 'of its time'.
Anastasia Ervina
Yes, akhirnya berhasil menyelesaikan bacaan ini, sebuah novel yang katanya adalah novel detektif pertama di dunia. Ya, untuk sebuah novel detektif pertama, dari sudut pandang saya, ini sudah cukup baik. Apalagi disisipi dengan Twin Connection yang cukup menarik.

Dan 4 bintang untuk kemisteriusan penulisnya. Sungguh salut karena selama 150 tahun, penulis The Notting Hill Mystery ini tidak diketahui.
Paul Collins of the New Your Times wrote 'The book is both utterly of its time and utterly ahead of it'. For me, that it is so ahead of the conventions of its time was simply an added dimension of the fun. My enjoyment of the read stems from it being 'utterly of its time". The inclusion of the 1862 reprinted illustrations of George Du Maurier (grandfater of author Daphne Du Maurier) added to my pleasure in reading a work from this era.
Our narrator, an insurance investigator, leads us through coi
Didn't really like the format the book was written in. Excellent murder puzzler but it is written in the form of reports from an insurance adjuster who is handling the case and doesn't think the death was due to natural causes. He adds written statements from witness and entries from diaries too. It just didn't do it for me as I am a character driven reader and this was too impersonal for me. It's not a long read though.
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