(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

August Derleth’s contributions fall into the areas of detective fiction and horror. Although he is considered a minor American author, his writings are diverse and voluminous—and include poetry, regional history, and science fiction as well as mystery and detective fiction. His major contribution to detective fiction is his series of Sherlock Homes pastiches (the Solar Pons series), which kept alive the spirit and style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work after Doyle had ceased writing new adventures. Derleth also created the Judge Peck series of murder mysteries, complete with clues for the reader to solve the crime; all the Peck works are set in the Sauk City region of Wisconsin, which Derleth knew so well. In the related genre of horror fiction, Derleth, as editor and publisher, is credited with preserving and bringing to the reading public the macabre tales of the important American writer H. P. Lovecraft.