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Melville Davisson Post's picture

Melville Davisson Post


USA flag (1869 - 1930)

Melville Davisson Post (April 19, 1869June 23, 1930) is an American author, born in Harrison County, West Virginia. He earned a law degree from West Virginia University in 1892, and was married in 1903 to Ann Bloomfield Gamble Schofield. Their only child, a son, died at eighteen months old and Mrs. Post died of pneumonia in 1919.

After the death of their son, he left law practice and went on an European tour with his wife. Upon return from Europe, he began writing short stories and became America's highest paid short story writer. He was an avid horseman, and died on June 23, 1930, after a fall from his horse, and was buried in Harrison County. His boyhood home, "Templemoor", is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as of 1982.

Although Post's name is not immediately familiar to many in this era, his stories are available through Gutenberg and many collections of detective fiction include works by Post. There is a case to be made for these stories to be among the finest of detective fiction in America. No less than Ellery Queen and Howard Haycraft both praised Post's writing as among the finest of American detective writing.

Post's best-known character is the mystery-solving, justice dispensing Virginian backwoodsman, Uncle Abner. Post also created two other recurring characters, Sir Henry Marquis and Randolph Mason. He also wrote two non-crime novels. His total output was approximately 230 titles.
 
Non fiction
 
Anthologies containing stories by Melville Davisson Post
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Short stories
The Doomdorf Mystery
A Twilight Adventure (1900)
The Angel of the Lord (1911)
The Wrong Hand (1918)


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