When Arthur Conan Doyle first began publishing his Sherlock Holmes short stories in 1891, they became an instant hit in Britain and North America. The popularity grew so overwhelming to Doyle, who feared that the stories were overshadowing his "serious" literary work, that he killed off his own hit character just two years later. With the public still clamoring for more short crime fiction, a flood of other authors launched their own detective series. Though little remembered today—particularly since Doyle relented and resurrected Holmes a decade later—many nevertheless remain worthy reads.
Moreover, nearly all of these works are now in the public domain in the United States, so they are freely available online from multiple sources. Our list The Peers of Sherlock Holmes contains a rundown of several suggested titles with links to the full text, in many cases with the option to download in a format that will work on your device.
Today we're excited to announce our new podcast, Adult Storytime, featuring short works read aloud to you by Saint Paul Public Library staff. We begin with one of the first detective series launched in the mold of Sherlock Holmes, "The Lenton Croft Robberies" by Arthur Morrison, featuring private inquiry agent Martin Hewitt.