The Bishop Murder Case (1928) involves a mystery built around a nursery rhyme and is believed to be the first nursery-rhyme mystery book.
The story involves a series of murders taking place in a wealthy neighborhood of New York. The first murder, of a Mr. Joseph Cochrane Robin, who is found pierced by an arrow, is accompanied by a note signed “The Bishop”, with an extract from the nursery rhyme, “Who Killed Cock Robin”. The crime takes place at the home of an elderly physicist with a beautiful young ward and a private archery range. District Attorney Markham finds the circumstances so unusual that he asks his friend Philo Vance to advise upon the psychological aspects of the crime. Further murders connected with the physicist’s family and neighbours are accompanied with similar extracts from Mother Goose.