Saturday, June 27, 2015

Resorting to Murder edited by Martin Edwards

I always have a hard time reviewing story collections, no matter how much I enjoy them. Do you just want to take my word that readers who appreciate the Golden Age mystery classics will appreciate Resorting to Murder? No?  Well, then take editor Martin Edwards word for it.

There are fourteen stories in this anthology. Edwards, himself an award-winning crime writer, calls these "vintage stories written over a span of roughly half a century, and which have a backdrop of a holiday". This is not a holiday as Americans think of it, Christmas or Thanksgiving. A holiday in this case is a trip or vacation, "enjoyable escapism" as Edwards says. Yet each story tells of a murder, "enjoyable escapism" for the reader who gets to watch a classic sleuth solve the crime in most of the stories. And, who better to kick off the anthology than Arthur Conan Doyle with the story of Sherlock Holmes' case in Cornwall, "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot"?

Edwards provides an introduction to each author and story. Some of the authors may be familiar to those who love older British mysteries. G.K. Chesterton and R. Austin Freeman have always been a couple of my favorites. And, somewhere or another I must have read Basil Thomson's "The Vanishing of Mrs. Fraser" before. It's just as fascinating as the first time I read it or something similar, the story of a young woman who leaves her ailing mother at a hotel, goes in search of help, and returns to find her mother gone, and the hotel staff denying everything. It's a must-read.

The collection is part of the British Library Crime Classics series, edited by Edwards, and published in this country by Poisoned Pen Press. I have two mystery novels in the series, ones I haven't had a chance to read yet. But, I'm looking forward to them.

Now that it's summer, I'd recommend a trip back in time if you enjoy and appreciate the classic British mystery. Resorting to Murder will serve as an introduction to both well-known and lesser-known authors, and some stories you may not have seen elsewhere. Trust Martin Edwards to tell you the background of the stories and authors.

Martin Edwards' website is

Resorting to Murder edited by Martin Edwards. Poisoned Pen Press. 2015. ISBN 9781464203756 (paperback), 278p.

FTC Full Disclosure -The publicist sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Good choice. A good friend recently read this and, knowing how many short stories I read, he offered to send me his copy, so I have that to look forward to soon. I think I've read a few of the stories before (the Doyle in the obvious one) but probably not most of them.

As for the comment above, I've made it a habit of reading at least one short story every day. This August will mark 20 years.

Jeff M.

Lesa said...

Great idea, Jeff. I'm a fan of mystery short stories, but I don't read them as often as I should. It's a way to discover new authors, and creative authors who may never venture into the longer format. Congratulations on 20 years. That's quite impressive. As you said, I knew I'd read the Doyle, but didn't remember it. And, a couple others were familiar, however it's always nice to come across them again.

And, I'll just say again, I'm really happy you found my blog. Thank you for being a regular reader here.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Thank you. I should make clear that it isn't all mystery shorts but all sorts, as my favorites would include Chekhov and John O'Hara.

Jeff M.

Gayle Boyce said...

Sounds like something I would like. I will check it out.

Lesa said...

I'm still impressed that you've been reading a short story every day for twenty years, Jeff. It doesn't matter what sort.

Lesa said...

Just my type, Gayle. I hope you enjoy it.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Sigh....another strikeout at my local library.

Lesa said...

I'll check to see if I have your address, Kevin.