During the 100 years from the middle of the nineteenth century to the 1950s, every important element of crime fiction was created. Each type of detective was born and their style of detection established, from the police detective and the amateur sleuth, right up to the hard-boiled detective and on to the secret agent. This book is a lavishly illustrated history of this crucial time in what is perhaps the most popular literary genre. Featuring rare covers, plus classic illustrations and designs, "The Classic Era of Crime Fiction" includes sections on Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, to explore the exciting cultural history behind crime fiction. For the first time crime enthusiasts can see how the famous (and infamous!) works of crime fiction were originally published and how unknown writers and illustrators were responsible for establishing a genre that became a cornerstone of popular culture.