This course will consider the genre of the detective story, beginning with Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) and culminating in the post-modern world of Paul Auster (b. 1947). Along the way we will read American and British authors who are considered the "classics" of the genre, such as Wilkie Collins (1824-1889), Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958), Raymond Chandler (1888-1959), Agatha Christie (1890-1976), Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957), Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961), Ellery Queen (b. 1905), Ross MacDonald (1915-1983), Mickey Spillane (b. 1918), Dick Francis (b. 1920), among others. Additional reading assignments may include classic essays on the genre by the novelists themselves and other critics. Given the time restraints of the semester, this course will not include spy novels. Required: class attendance and participation, 2-3 short papers, and an in-class final exam.