With Martin Edwards as librarian and guide, delve into an irresistible stack of bibliomysteries, where “golden age–inspired puzzle masters [are] doing what they do best: bringing together readers, books, and felonies [in] perhaps the single best collection yet in this blue-chip series (Kirkus, Starred Review)."
There is no better hiding place for clues—or red herrings—than inside the pages of a book. But in this world of resentful ghost writers, indiscreet playwrights, and unscrupulous book collectors, literary prowess is often a prologue to disaster. Readers should be warned that the most riveting tales often conceal the deadliest of secrets.
Featuring much-loved Golden Age detectives Nigel Strangeways, Philip Trent, Detective Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn, and others, a bookish puzzle threatens an eagerly awaited inheritance; a submission to a publisher recounts a murder that seems increasingly to be a work of nonfiction; an irate novelist puts a grisly end to the source of his writer's block.
This excellent reprint anthology from Edwards (Guilty Creatures: A Menagerie of Mysteries) features "an assortment of mysteries linked by a literary theme of one kind or another." The 16 entries include a superior pastiche by S.C. Roberts, "The Strange Case of the Megatherium Thefts," in which Sherlock Holmes is consulted about the disappearances of volumes from a lending library. Christianna Brand's ingenious "Dear Mr. Editor..." is framed as a response to an editor's request for her to contribute to an anthology. Instead of her own work, Brand offers a document found in the hand of a dead woman intended for the same editor's consideration. A.A. Milne cleverly plays with genre conventions in "A Savage Game," in which an author named Coleby asserts that he's qualified to do police work, because mystery writers routinely invent "a story which accounts for all the facts and suspicions and discrepancies which the case presents." Coleby goes on to try to solve a real murder at a police officer's invitation with unexpected consequences. Edwards's exhaustive research and genre expertise yield another stellar volume for the British Library Crime Classics series.