Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Resorting to Murder: Holiday Mysteries, Edited by Martin Edwards

First Line from the Introduction: Holidays offer us the luxury of getting away from it all.

Insightful introductions by Martin Edwards guide readers through this collection of fourteen short stories written by some of the most popular crime fiction writers in England's golden age of mysteries (1910-1953). The theme of detectives on holiday provides the framework of the collection, and the stories take place in many vacation spots throughout the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland.

Of the fourteen authors, I was familiar with only three: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Arnold Bennett, and G.K. Chesterton. 

One thing I remembered as I read each story was that, during this time, crime fiction was in its purest form. If something did not advance the story, the writer did not include it. If you're a fan of more contemporary crime fiction in which in-depth characterization and the story's setting usually take on very important roles, this collection may not be for you. But if you're interested in reading the work of other crime fiction authors besides Agatha Christie who were popular and have fallen into (sometimes undeserved) obscurity, Resorting to Murder is right up your alley.

Of all the stories in this book, I enjoyed the ones by the two women most: "A Posteriori" by Helen Simpson, and "Where Is Mr. Manetot?" by Phyllis Bentley, due to their plots and for Helen Simpson's sense of humor. I also enjoyed the feeling of slipping back into the past to read the popular fiction of the day. 

I applaud the British Library Crime Classics series and its US publisher, Poisoned Pen Press, for bringing these writers and their works back to the reading public.

Resorting to Murder: Holiday Mysteries edited by Martin Edwards
ISBN: 9781464203756
Poisoned Pen Press © 2015
Paperback, 320 pages

Short Story Collection
Rating: B
Source: Net Galley 

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