Posts Tagged ‘Martin Edwards’

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I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.

One of my favourite genres is crime fiction and in general I prefer classic crime to modern crime novels so I was pleased to read this.  Martin Edwards explores the sub-genre through a selection of one hundred books published between 1901 and 1950.  If you think that the books written in the so-called Golden Age of crime fiction were all set in country houses and featured a body in the library this book might make you think again.  The more books I read in the sub-genre the more I am surprised by the variety of plots and backgrounds.

The author doesn’t confine himself to just one hundred books and many others are referred to or described in more detail.  He is very careful not to give away the plots so if you don’t like to know what happens in a book you are about to read you can safely read this book without fearing you will come across any spoilers.

The well known names are all here – Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L Sayers – but there are plenty of authors’ whose names are not so well know these days such as George Bellairs, Michael Gilbert, Anthony Gilbert as well as Francis Iles and Roy Horniman.  There is an index of titles of books mentioned in the text as well as a separate index of authors and a conventional index of the text.  There is also a useful bibliography if you want to explore the subject in further depth.

This book is a must have for anyone who enjoys crime fiction and it makes a useful companion to the British Museum series of classic crime novels which has been such an unexpected success with the reading public. Be aware that you will find yourself adding many books to your wish list and I found myself constantly stopping while I was reading to see if a book mentioned is available as an e-book.  There are increasing numbers of classic crime novels available again showing that many people do still enjoy this type of crime novel.

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Product Details

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.

This is an interesting collection of crime stories dating back to early in the twentieth century.  All are set in Europe.  There are well know authors as well as not so well known ones.  There are thefts of jewels, the discovery of murdered bodies and some very spooky happenings in a fairy tale castle on the Rhine.

I enjoyed the Agatha Christie story which features J Parker Pyne rather than the much better known Hercule Poirot.  I thought it was interesting to see that there is a story featuring a retired French detective called Hercules Popeau who has many similarities to Christie’s later creation of Poirot.  The story’s author was apparently not very impressed when she came across Christie’s creation.

If you enjoy Golden Age detective fiction then you will probably enjoy this interesting collection of short stories which has something for everyone.

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Motives for Murder

This collection of twenty two short stories was compiled as a tribute to Peter Lovesey on his eightieth birthday.  It is edited by current Detection Club President, Martin Edwards and includes a story by him.  I enjoy reading these short story collections as  they give me a chance  to renew my acquaintance with favourite authors and to read work by authors I haven’t come across before.

There are some marvellous stories in this collection.  There are a variety of settings from historical to modern.  Some are set in Bath – in reference to one of Peter Lovesey’s series characters, Peter Diamond.  Some feature Lovesey himself as a character.  All the stories have one or more twists to them.

I particularly enjoyed The Suffragette’s Tale by Marjorie Eccles – an author whose work I haven’t read before and Janet Laurence’s An End in Bath.  I also liked L C Tyler’s The Trials of Margaret.  I have added the last two authors to my list of authors I want to read.  If you want some well written crime stories to pick up and put down when you have a few minutes to read then try this one – you will not be disappointed.

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Twelve crime stories from masters of the genre are collected together in this book.  Some authors represented here will be well known to readers of crime fiction, though some authors may be unfamiliar.  All the stories are set in and around the Christmas season.

The story which has remained in my mind after I finished the book is The Carol Singers by Josephine Bell which involves a particularly unpleasant murder in circumstances which could easily have happened in the twenty first century.

The other story which sent a frisson down my spine is the first one in the collection called The Ghost’s Touch by Fergus Hume – an author I hadn’t heard of before.

If you’re looking for a collection of crime stories to read after Christmas lunch then this would be ideal.  All the stories are well written and have stood the test of time.  I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review.

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This is a marvellous collection of short stories from the Golden Age of British crime fiction.  This selection of stories contains work by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Gladys Mitchell, G K Chesterton, Anthony Berkeley and H C Bailey among others.

The theme of this collection is murder in a rural setting. My particular favourite in this collection are E C Bentley’s ‘The Genuine Tabard’ – which doesn’t include a murder but is definitely worth reading for the sheer delight of the story.  I also enjoyed ‘The Gylston Slander’ by Herbert Jenkins – poison pen letters; and ‘The Naturalist at Law’ by R Austin Freeman.

All the stories in this collection are well worth reading and some will remain with you long after you have finished reading the book.  In my opinion this is on of the best short story collections in this excellent series.  I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review.

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This is a collection of crime stories from the first part of the twentieth century all set in and around English country houses.  I have to confess I found some of the stories just didn’t hold my attention but two of them were really excellent.

The Anthony Berkeley story about a man who keeps finding his cousin apparently dead is ingenious and the solution relatively simple when all is revealed by the inimitable Roger Sheringham.

I also enjoyed the Michael Gilbert story which features a will and some interesting legal problems.  Gilbert is an author I’ve not read before but I shall certainly be looking out for more by him after reading this story.

This is an interesting collection and there are some good stories in it though some I felt were a little long.  The book is worth reading for the two stories I have mentioned above.  I received a free copy of the book from NetGalley for review.

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An old tragedy seems to be influencing events in the present.  Malcolm Whitely was found dead at his home, Dungeon House, with the bodies of his daughter, Amber and wife Lysette after Lysette tells him she is leaving him.  Twenty years ago the case was closed as a tragic murder/suicide.

Then three years ago a young girl, Lily, the daughter of Malcom Whiteley’s accountant, Gray, disappears.  She is still missing three years later when another young girl, this time Malcom’s niece, Shona, has disappeared.Hannah Scarlett and her team are tasked with re-examining Lily’s disappearance to see if it has any links with Shona vanishing.

The plot is well constructed and complex and the story certainly kept me guessing until very close to the end.  The ending itself kept me turning the pages to find out what exactly happened not just in the present but twenty years ago too.  I liked the characters but was sorry to see less of Daniel Kind – Hannah Scarlett’s boyfriend – than in previous books in this series.

The book is well written, the characters interesting and believable and the conclusion enough to give anyone nightmares though it is not overdone.  I recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed the previous books in this series and to readers who enjoy reading crime novels where the setting is as important as the story.  The Lake District is almost a character in its own right in this series and reading this book made me want to revisit Ravenglass and the surrounding area.  I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley for review.


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