Shop now Learn more Shop now Up to 50% off Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Amazon Fire TV Shop now Halloween Pets Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Voyage Listen in Prime Learn more Shop now
Start reading The Notting Hill Mystery on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

The Notting Hill Mystery [Kindle Edition]

Charles Felix , Charles Adams , George du Maurier , Mickey Goese , Douglas Bates
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £4.61
Kindle Price: £2.23 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £2.38 (52%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £0.99  
Kindle Edition, 2 Feb. 2011 £2.23  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £4.61  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Book Description

THE NOTTING HILL MYSTERY is currently considered to be the first 'Detective Novel' written in English. Completed in 1863, the author's true identity was long a mystery itself and recently revealed in the New York Times review of Books. Using techniques that were not commonly found for another 50 years, this fine work gives a sense of life in the mid 1800's whilst drawing the reader into this new genre.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Page of Start over
This shopping feature will continue to load items. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading.

Product Description


"The book is both utterly of its time and utterly ahead of it."--Paul Collins, "New York"" Times Book Review"

--Paul Collins "New York Times Book Review "

"The book's premise is irresistible. A woman dies after apparently sleepwalking into her husband's laboratory and drinking from a bottle of acid. An insurance company investigator discovers that the husband had taken out no fewer than five policies on his wife. As in Columbo, we know the identity of the villain, but we must work out how the investigator will prove his case. All the paraphernalia of the 20th century detective novel is anticipated here: maps, marriage certificates, torn bits of letter, witness statements. Told in the form of a report by the investigator, it is as much dossier as novel. As the American academic has written, "the book is both utterly of its time and utterly ahead of it." 5 Star Review --Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph, March 10th 2012

In its new incarnation, The Notting Hill Mystery proves innovative and cheerfully demented, as it is presented in the form of diary entries, family letters, witness interviews, a chemical analysis report and a crime scene map. Its hero is an insurance investigator building a case against a sinister baron, and the case incorporates kidnapping, acid poisoning, three murders, a dodgy mesmerist and of course a rich uncle's will, all embellished with George Du Maurier's illustrations. Charles Warren Adams was a journalist and lawyer who wrote under a pseudonym, and it's good to have him back. --Christopher Fowler, The Independent 25 March 2012

The Notting Hill Mystery by Charles Warren Adams was first published in 1865, yet the way it tells its bizarre tale of murder is astonishingly modern. --Daily Telegraph, 22nd April 2012

About the Author

Charles Warren Adams was a journalist, traveller, lawyer and sole proprietor of the firm Saunders, Otley & Co, which published Once a Week, the magazine in which The Notting Hill Mystery was first published.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1112 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher:; 1 edition (2 Feb. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004M18O9C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #300,722 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noun or Verb? 18 Feb. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because of the claim to be the first detective novel. It's a very decent read and there is a well argued introduction to support the claim. Since the main character is an insurance agent rather than a detective, it could be argued that it is the first novel of detection but not a detective novel since it contains no detective but I suppose that depends on whether the word detective is understood as a noun or a verb. The epistolary style might put some people off but I found the letters and documents interesting though it doesn't do too much for characterisation. As for the first detective novel with a detective? I guess that we are back to Wilkie Collins' Sergeant Cuff. Good for anoraks like me rather than a general read.
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The first 'modern' detective novel 16 July 2015
By Lorna
The structure is very different and possibly even unique compared to other detective/crime fiction I’ve read. As it’s told through insurance investigator Henderson’s perspective layered over the facts, it comes across as very clinical in its approach. I know that sounds boring, but I actually really liked it. I also liked that parts were told from different witness’ perspectives because that made it sound much more like a real, genuine crime case rather than a work of fiction.

It also took me quite a while to figure out what was actually going on. The beginning wasn’t difficult to understand, on the flipside it was actually pretty involving, but it just jumped straight in with loads of characters at once. That made me get a bit lost, but soon enough I managed to start figuring out what happened even before Henderson did. I’m not sure if that was intentional and the reader is supposed to know the twist already, but I did and it didn’t detract from the rest of the story for me.

The Notting Hill Mystery was a good, involving read, and was definitely unique. I’m glad I got the chance to read it!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read 20 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I downloaded this book after a recommendation from The Guardian.
it originally appeared as instalments in a nineteenth century magazine, and the story is a pretty standard "penny dreadful" shocker, but what makes it interesting is the style, as the story is told though letters and reports, in what we would consider to be a very modern way.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
I thought this was a wonderful book but that is probably because I am a fan of the older mysteries and enjoy seeing how authors approached the genre in its young days. In this case, not just an infant but practically it's birth day. You might appreciate this novel more if you forget about it being billed as a detective novel because it definitely is not that. Instead you have an investigation presented from the point of view of an investigator for an insurance company into the death of someone the company he works for insured. As you read more and more of the letters, journal entries, statements and reports compiled by Mr. Henderson you watch his case build up.

The first of the letters concerning the characters were dated in the 1830s and the story concludes in about 1856. Watching Mr. Henderson line up his evidence regarding Baron R** and the mysterious happenings going on with those whose lives he touched was fascinating for me. Granted, this style of novel can be rather bland and dry but if you appreciate watching an expert gather his evidence you will be more likely to enjoy this novel. Knowing this story was published in 1865 gives readers a wonderful example of how the genre has evolved over time and how remarkable it was for Charles Warren Adams to have written this "first" so well. This is a novel for the reader who enjoys the language of the Victorian era and the meticulous gathering of evidence and presentation of that evidence in summary form. Quite an interesting curiosity and I'm very glad I had the chance to read it.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very, very odd. You have to get through a lot of tosh, so it is really for people interested in the history of the detective novel or into the weirdness of the Victorians, rather than for mystery fans. But if you are interested in the period aspects, it is something you need to read. Mesmerism is a major plot mover. There is also hideous childbirth and other gratuitous female suffering, abduction by Gypsies and a sinister foreign Baron. And more.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder mystery 27 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good story well told, but lots of typos - whoever proof-read it didn't do a very good job. The format of statements from different witnesses worked well.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a curio 4 Jun. 2012
By Stephen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I suppose the detective novel had to start somewhere, and this, from 1865, is certainly a candidate. It is surprisingly modern in its format; there is little straightforward narrative, but rather a dossier of evidence. The trouble is that the mystery isn't very mysterious. It becomes clear quite early on what must have happened, and you have to endure some Victorian nonsense about long-lost relations as well as mesmerism.

I felt that the characters were no more than cyphers for the plot, and even the investigator, dogged and thorough as he is, does not really emerge as a defined character.

It's of moderate interest, but I think I will stick to Wilkie Collins.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A very strange story I have nearly finished reading it....very different to the other murder mysteries of that time.
Published 1 month ago by C. F. E. Boldero
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great thanks
Published 2 months ago by john a
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It was in the best conditions. Also the package was excellent..
Published 3 months ago by Pilar Escriche-Riera
1.0 out of 5 stars Drivel
Drivel. Drivel and nonsense. Letters to and from Same, no thread to this so called mystery. Can't be bothered any more.
Published 6 months ago by Readalot
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
given as a gift at christmas
Published 8 months ago by john ramsden
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 15 months ago by Cathie Wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars Of interest to history buffs
Interesting but not too enthralling. It's of historical interest but not a cracking good read. If you are looking for something contemporary look elsewhere. Read more
Published 15 months ago by D M Bullick
3.0 out of 5 stars The Nottinghill Mystery
I was a bit disappointed in this book. Written as the report of an insurance inspector, supported by witness statements, newspaper reports, letters and other expert reports, the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Watty
4.0 out of 5 stars A good and ground-breaking read
Well worth reading. Fascinating structure and almost completely plausible denouement. Fascinating to read such an early example of British crime fiction.
Published 23 months ago by Craig Robert Pickering
Search Customer Reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category