Forgotten Books: The Drop of Blood (Original title: La gota de sangre) by Emilia Pardo Bazán


Some scholars have noted that Alarcon’s novel, The Nail, does not have the characteristics of a classic detective story. The solution in The Nail is found by chance, fate or providence, not deductive analysis. Despite some elements of intrigue and mystery The Nail is, after all, a romantic book. See my previous post HERE. For this reason, The Drop of Blood (La gota de sangre, 1911) is widely considered the first Spanish detective novel.     

Emilia Pardo Bazán (1852 – 1921)…. wrote several stories and short novels in the detective fiction mode, particularly La cana (1911; The White Hair), La gota de sangre (1911; The Drop of Blood) and its still unpublished continuation Selva (c. 1914)….. Although the investigators are invariably male and amateurs, Pardo Bazán’s innovation in the genre include a central preoccupation with the subordinate situation of women, reflecting the author’s reformist intention and her nonconforming views of the official moral and social rules. (Taken from: The Feminist Encyclopedia of Spanish Literature: A-M, edited by Janet Perez and Maureen Ihrie, Greenwood Press, 2002). 

In The Drop of Blood, Ignacio Selva, to prove his innocence, becomes an amateur sleuth to solve the murder of a businessman named Francisco Grijalva.

Emilia Pardo Bazán y el relato policial por Concepción Bados Ciria (in Spanish).

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