Wilkie Collins wrote "The Woman in White" (1860) and it is considered not only the first but one of the best sensational mystery novels ever written. It was hugely popular. Partly, because in the 1860's more people could read than at any other time in history. Plus the average person had more leisure time to read for entertainment. [Remember there were no TV's, I-pods or computers.] Prior to this only the rich upper classes were educated and reading was for the enlightenment of one's mind.
Collins states in his introduction to the novel: 'the story here presented will be told by more than one pen, as the story of an offence against the laws is told in Court by more than one witness'.
YOUR INVESTIGATION: What was the name of Collin's detective in "The Woman in White"?
ANSWER: Walter Hartright