Original green front wrapper from Part II of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.  This cover was designed by Charles A. Collins, who was a brother of Wilkie Collins, and the husband of Charles Dickens’s daughter, Kate.  Except for the cover, the illustrations to Drood were done by Luke Fildes.  Dickens was probably influenced in his decision to write a mystery by the popularity of mystery novels written by his friend, Wilkie Collins; notably, The Moonstone and The Woman in White.  It is ironic that The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished because of Dickens’s death, should have engendered more controversy than any of his more important works.  The identity of the murderer of Edwin Drood was unknown to the publishers, Chapman and Hall, who in a page appended to the last number, stated: “All that was left of the manuscript of Edwin Drood is contained in the number now published – the sixth… the only notes in reference to the story that have since been found concern that portion, exclusively which is treated in the earlier numbers.  Beyond the clues therein afforded to its conduct or catastrophe, nothing whatever remains…”  However, John Forster, close friend and confidant of Dickens, said that John Jasper was the murderer.  Furthermore, Charles Dickens Jr. said that his father told him that Jasper would be disclosed as the killer.  Charles Collins, the designer of the cover, said that Dickens insisted that Jasper, shown in the upper right hand corner of the cover looking thoughtfully at Edwin and Rosa, wear a long scarf with which he would strangle Edwin.  Nevertheless, over the years and despite this contemporary evidence, scores of books have been published offering solutions to the mystery and conclusions to the novel.  These include The Mystery of Edwin Drood Complete, in which the novel was purportedly finished by Dickens, from the afterworld, through a spiritualist medium.  The “medium” went on to state that the next book to be published by Dickens from the spirit world would be The Life and Adventures of Bookley Wickleheap.  Thankfully, this was never published.  Even R. Austin Freeman, creator of the Dr. Thorndyke Mysteries had a hand at Edwin Drood, writing a spoof, The Mystery of Angelina Frood.  Of course, The Trial of John Jasper, published by Judge John Patterson, is of this genre of sequels.