“The drop of blood”, by Emilia Pardo Bazán, the first Spanish detective novel written by a woman

As Alicia Giménez Bartlett rightly points out in the prologue to this edition of “the drop of blood“: «Without a doubt the main trait of this text is originality. We find ourselves in front of a Doña Emilia who subverts each and every one of the stereotypes of the genre. She manages so that the occasional detective is at the same time a suspect in the face of the agents of the law: police officers and judges, but not only that: he supplants the police, gives them orders, hides information from them, and it is he who sets the pace and pauses in the investigations.

Finally, without worrying too much, he takes the reins of the investigation, actively participates in it and, secretly from the law enforcement officers, solves the crime. Precisely in the resolution of the crime is when the author executes the most striking pirouette. Does resolution of the case imply arrest of the culprit? I’m not going to spoil the outcome for you. I will only tell you that, as prescribed, everything fits and, in its own way, justice shines.

Emilia Pardo Bazan (A Coruña, 1851 – Madrid, 1921) left samples of his talent in all literary genres. Among his extensive production, the most noteworthy are The pazos of Ulloa, Insolation y the throbbing question. In addition, she was a regular contributor to various newspapers and magazines. She managed to be the first woman to preside over the literary section of the Ateneo de Madrid and to obtain a chair of Neo-Latin literature at the Central University of the same city.

You can buy the book at: