detectivejpgEdgar Allan Poe, best known for his gothic tales of horror and dread, gave birth on this day in 1841 to the likes of  Sherlock Holmes, Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, Hercule Poirot and Alex Cross when he published what is considered the first detective story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” making today


We know them, we love them, we devour their books like stoners inhale M&Ms.

Great detective stories usually begin with some diabolical murder or grand theft (or both) with few clues left behind, involving hidden motives and false leads that only a brainy and daring detective can unravel, always at their great mortal peril.

There are multiple suspects, betrayals and plot twists to spare, and an assistant, a colleague or a superior questioning their methods and their conclusions. Many savvy Joes who should have known better are led astray by a beautiful femme fatale with a secret she is desperate to keep, but good fictional detectives always come to their senses and see through the subterfuge in the end, solving high crimes and righting wrongs.

They are always flawed, quirky individuals, sometime tortured and driven souls filled with self doubt, but always interesting people who won’t rest until the truth is revealed, no matter the consequences. They can be private eyes, big city police detectives, amateur sleuths like Miss Marple or laid back rural sheriffs, but they all have one thing in common; persistence.

•Suggested Activities: Wearing raincoats and fedoras, stepping on toes.

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