Crime Fiction Historical Timeline

crime writers biography


Edgar Allen Poe

19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849

Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1809. He passed away at the age of 40. He was the second child of Elizabeth Poe and actor David Poe. Edgar had an elder brother William, and a younger sister Rosalie. His mother died when he was very young and his father abandoned the family. So, he was an orphan and taken in by John and Frances Allen. Tension developed later as John Allan and Edgar repeatedly clashed over debts, including those about gambling, and the cost of education for Edgar. His first taste of literary fame was his poem The Raven. However, what brought him to success was his detective, Auguste C. Dupin, in his 1841 story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue. His work is in the detective genre because his stories feature detectives.

Arthur Conan Doyle

May 22 1859 - July 7 1930

Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Sadly, he died of a heart attack on July 7, 1930. He was part of a big family, having 7 sisters and 1 brother. Unfortunately, a lot of relatives died during his lifetime. As a boy, Arthur was educated at a Catholic preparatory school. In his spare time, he began to write stories, which were published anonymously in various magazines from 1878 to 1880. His first taste of fame was The Mystery of Sasassa Valley, In 1886. He is most famous for his 60 mystery stories such as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, featuring the popular detective Sherlock Holmes and his loyal assistant Watson. His work falls into detective fiction becuase Sherlock investigates the crime.

Agatha Christie

15th of September 1890 - 12th of January 1976

Best-selling author Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller Christie was born on September 15, 1890, in Devon, England. Agatha had a wealthy, upper class family. She was youngest of three siblings and educated at home by her mother, who encouraged her to write. As a child, Christie enjoyed fantasy play and creating characters. When she was 16, she moved to Paris to study vocals and piano. She published her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920. agatha is best known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, particularly those revolving around her fictional detectives; Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. The sub-genre of her books is the detective genre.

Ian Fleming

28 may 1908 - 12 August 1964

Ian Fleming was born on May 28, 1908 in London, England. One of four sons, he grew up in a wealthy and influential family. His father, Valentine, served in parliament before fighting in WW1. A childhood lowlight of Fleming was that when he was only 9 years old, his father died in combat. Fleming wrote his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952. He is best known for all of his James Bond books, which are a huge success. Fleming also wrote the popular children’s book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which became a film. His work falls into the espionage genre because most of the books feature Bond, who is a spy.

P.D James

August 3, 1920 - 27 November 2014

Phyllis Dorothy James (P.D) was born in Oxford, England, on August 3, 1920. She was the daughter of Sidney and Dorothy James. In 1941, she married Ernest White, an army doctor and they had two daughters, Clare and Jane. P.D had to leave school at the age of sixteen to work because her family didn't have much money and her father did not believe in education for girls. She wrote her first novel, a detective story titled Cover Her Face in 1962. She rose to fame for her series of detective novels, starring police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh.

Stephen King

21 September 1947 - Approx. Present

Stephen King was born on September 21, 1947, in Portland, Maine. He is the second son of Donald and Nellie King. After his parents separated when Stephen was a toddler, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. As a boy, King found a box of fantasy horror fiction books, that had belonged to his father and he read them all. By the time he was seven, he began writing his own stories. He also enjoyed watching science fiction and monster movies. Stephen's first, Carrie, was a huge success. His most popular novels include: The Shining, Carrie, and IT. The genre of his work is horror because his books feature horrifying events and creatures.

Kathy Reichs

7 July 1948 - Approx. Present

Kathleen Joan Toelle "Kathy" Reichs was born July 7, 1948 in Chicago, Illinois. She has two daughters, Kerry and Courtney, and one son, Brendan. Kathy was raised by her father alongside her three sisters. She had a traditional Catholic upbringing and since her childhood in Chicago, Kathy found science very interesting. The genre of her work is forensic crime because forensic evidence is used at the crime scene. Kathy Reich’s first novel, Déjà Dead catapulted her to fame and won a best first novel award. Some may say her most notable work is the bestselling crime novel, Break No Bones or the TV series Bones.

Kerry Greenwood

17 June 1954 - Approx. Present

Kerry Isabelle Greenwood was born on 17 June 1954 in Melbourne. She has two younger sisters, a younger brother and her partner is David Greagg. Greenwood grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray, where she still lives today. Kerry’s childhood was very happy and she started writing as soon as she could form the letters. Her Phryne Fisher series began in 1989 with Cocaine Blues which was a great success. She has written six books in the series of historical detective novels centred on the character of Phryne Fisher, which is what she is most famous for. Her work falls into the historical crime genre, as it was set the past.

Stieg Larsson

15 August 1954 - 9 November 2004

Born Karl Stig-Erland Larsson on August 15, 1954 in Skelleftehamn, a small town in the Vasterbotten region of northeast Sweden. Stig sadly died of a heart attack in 2004. He was the child of Vivianne and Ernald larsson. But, for the first 9 years of his life, he was raised by his maternal grandparents. Stieg Larsson's favorite childhood pastime was reading. On his 12th birthday, his parents gave him a typewriter as a birthday gift. Before long, he began writing his own stories and he completed his first attempt at writing a novel. Stieg was best known for his Millennium novels, including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which was actually his first taste of literary success. His work is categorized as the detective and thriller genre.

John Grisham

8 February 1955 - Approx. Present

John Grisham Jr. was born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The second oldest of five siblings, was born to Wanda and John Grisham. During Grisham’s childhood, his family moved around for a while, due to job opportunities for his father, who worked in construction. John developed a love for books early on. However, as a child he dreamed of being a professional baseball player. John’s first novel, A Time to Kill was published in June, 1989. He is a best-selling author for many of his legal thriller genre of books. These include 'The Firm,’ ‘The Pelican Brief and ‘A Time to Kill’, which were turned into hit films.