The woman in White is the fifth published novel, written by English novelist, playwright, and author of short stories Wickie Colins. It is often regarded as one of the first mystery novels and is widely considered to be one of the first in the genre of sensation novels. The novel is often called an early example of detective fiction. The main character is Walter Hartright who uses many of detective techniques of later private detectives. The story is told by more than one narrator, as Collins says “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” In 2003, Robert McCrum writing for The Observer listed The Woman in White number 23 in "the top 100 greatest novels of all time", and the novel was listed at number 77 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.