Introduction (Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Fourth Edition)
The detective story is a special branch of crime fiction that focuses attention on the examination of evidence that will lead to the solution of the mystery. The Oxford English Dictionary records the first printed use of the noun “detective” in the year 1843. The term had become established in the language because of the formation of the first detective bureaus, the original of which was the Bow Street Runners, a group of detective-policemen organized by Henry Fielding and John Fielding in their capacities as magistrates in London. The Runners operated out of the Fielding residence on Bow Street and were the precursors of the detective branch of Scotland Yard. Some time later, early in the nineteenth century, the Sûreté Générale, the first modern police force, was formed in Paris with a detective bureau. With the establishment of such bureaus, the way was open for the detective story to be developed out of existing literary sources.
(The entire section is 158 words.)
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