Murder by the Book edited by Cynthia Manson

Murder by the Book edited by Cynthia Manson

Like a lot of anthologies, Murder by the Book is a mixed batch. All the stories have some literary connection, whether it be books, or a character or is a writer or whatever, and most have a crime that needs solved. Several authors I've read before and was not surprised that their stories were good like Dorothy L. Sayers (even though I don't think I'll ever be a Wimsey fan), Edward D. Hoch, Margaret Maron, Bill Pronzini, and Lawrence Block. I really enjoyed the "Jane Austen Murder" mostly because the main character was a hoot. I will be on the lookout for more by Knowlden. In "A Women's Voice," Hansen did a great job of letting us get to know the characters, even though it's a short story, and surprising me with the whodunnit. I didn't care for "In the Bluebell Wood" or "Body Language." Overall, though, I enjoyed the collection. I think I need to pick up a Halloween...
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Resorting to Murder edited by Martin Edwards

Resorting to Murder edited by Martin Edwards

So, who else is dreaming of vacations right about now? This collection of British mystery short stories centers around vacations/holidays. Our detectives are supposed to be enjoying themselves, but are of course drawn into solving whatever crime has occurred, most often a murder. Like any anthology, some stand out above others. A few of my favorites: "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot" by Arthur Conan Doyle is one I've read before. A woman is found dead and two of her brothers are completely insane. I always enjoy Holmes and this one is not an exception. "The Hazel Ice" by H.C. Bailey - Reggie Fortune is Bailey's series detective. This time, he's in Switzerland and ends up investigating the death of a fellow tourist. This was really enjoyable. I should search out more of the Fortune stories. "Holiday Task" by Leo Bruce - Sergeant Beef is on vacation in Normandy when "the most detected man in the French prison service" is killed in...
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The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes published by Dover Publications

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes published by Dover Publications

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of 16 classic detective stories from the late 19th through the early 20th centuries. The detectives are not so much rivals of Holmes as contemporaries. The collection is centered around when the stories were written, but they come from a variety of regions. I've read a few of the authors before and a couple of the stories, but several were to me. There were even a couple of female detectives, unusual for the era. As with most anthologies, I enjoyed some of the stories more than others. The book starts off with "The Great Ruby Robbery" by Grant Allen which was clever and funny, a good combination and a good way to open. "Cinderella's Slipper" by Hugh C. Weir and his Miss Madelyn Mack also stood out for me. I met Max Carrados in "The Coin of Dionysius" by Ernest Braman. He's a blind detective, which is unique. Another, this one from America,...
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The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories edited by Martin Edwards

The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories edited by Martin Edwards

I thoroughly enjoyed the storied in The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories. Each short story/mystery is set around Christmas, but aside from that one connecting feature, it's a great variety, from typical whodunnits, to spy stories, to a ghost story. The stories are as follows: "A Christmas Tragedy" by Baroness Orczy "By the Sword" by Selwyn Jepson "The Christmas Card Crime" by Donald Stuart "The Motive" by Ronald Knox "Blind Man's Hood" by Carter Dickson "Paul Temple's White Christmas" by Francis Durbridge "Sister Bessie" or "Your Old Leech" by Cyril Hare "A Bit of Wire Pulling" by E.C.R. Lorac "Pattern of Revenge" by John Bude "Crime at Lark Cottage" by John Bingham "'Twixt the Cup and the Lip" by Julian Symons Most of the authors were new to me, but there wasn't really a bad one in the bunch. Granted, some are better than others, as in any collection, but there's...
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Mystery! edited by Chantelle Aimée Osman

Mystery! edited by Chantelle Aimée Osman

The Origins Game Fair in Columbus is something we like to do every year, but this year we didn't make it due to my new job. I did have a friend who was nice enough to pick up this year's anthology - with the Mystery theme, I didn't want to miss is. He also got several of the writers to autograph it. Mystery!, like most anthologies, is a bit uneven. Some stories were excellent, some fine, and one didn't fit at all. There were 14 stories in all, but I'll only mention a few that struck me. "The Abomination of Fensmere" by Lucy A. Snyder was the first story in the collection, but it felt more horror with a Lovecraftian bent than mystery. I don't think it was the best way to start. Timothy Zahn's "(Ms.) Taken Identity" was good, both the mystery plot and the world he created where doppels are people who can look like anyone they want, until they're dead, then they...
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Cozy Christmas Shorts from Gemma Halliday Publishing

This was my last Christmas read for the season. Like most anthologies, it has its ups and downs. Each of these short stories fits into a series, but the only series I had read before is the Southern Pasta Shop mysteries. I will say that each story gave a good feeling for the main character and style of mystery and I'd like to read more of a few of them. Most of the mysteries were cute and fun, but I did have a few favorites. I didn't really hate any of them, but there were a couple that I wasn't fond of. Favorites: "Have Yourself a Deadly Little Christmas" by Leslie Langtry - The Bombay family may be assassins, but they are funny, pragmatic, inventive and really care about each other. And I loved the spin they took with And Then There Were None. "A (Gingerbread) Diorama of Death" by Gin Jones - Helen, the main character, seems like an interesting lady, even though...
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