Anna Katharine Green
Known as the "Mother of the Detective Novel," Anna Katharine Green shaped the structure of the modern detective novel and gave it a distinctive American style. Her works inspired Agatha Christie to become a mystery writer.
Anna was born on November 11, 1846, in Brooklyn, New York. Her father, James Wilson Green, was a lawyer, and his career likely had an influence on his daughter's writing. In 1866, Anna graduated from Ripley Female College in Poultney, Vermont, then moved back to New York to live with her extended family. She published her first book, The Leavenworth Case: A Lawyer's Story, to instant international acclaim and praise for its mastery of legal points. In fact, professors of law at Yale University used the book to demonstrate the fallacy of circumstantial evidence.
At the age of thirty-seven, Anna married Charles Rohlfs, a struggling actor and son of German immigrants. As Anna became even more famous internationally, she and her husband traveled often to Europe. She maintained an active correspondence with many European critics, readers, and authors, particularly Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle.
Anna wrote for twenty-five years, producing over thirty novels and short stories, including A Strange Disappearance, The Circular Study, The Mill Mystery, The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow, Initials Only, and The Step on the Stair. She lived to the age of eighty-eight and died at her home in Buffalo, New York, on April 11, 1935.