A man is forbidden to uncover the secret of the tower in a fairy-tale castle by the Rhine. A headless corpse is found in a secret garden in Paris – belonging to the city’s chief of police. And a drowned man is fished from the sea off the Italian Riviera, leaving the carabinieri to wonder why his socialite friends at the Villa Almirante are so unconcerned by his death.
These are three of the scenarios in this new collection of vintage crime stories. Detective stories from the golden age and beyond have used European settings – cosmopolitan cities, rural idylls and crumbling chateaux – to explore timeless themes of revenge, deception, murder and haunting.
Including lesser-known stories by Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, J. Jefferson Farjeon and other classic writers, this collection reveals many hidden gems of British crime.
There is such an other worldliness about placing your story in another country. You take your readers out of their comfort zones in the first break of the story. Without the creature comforts of their own lives, readers are automatically put on edge. Throw in a mystery and suddenly we are simultaneously wishing for our own beds and looking or shoulders for the next crime. Martin Edwards has put together a lovely collection of short crime stories. This anthology has all the best thrills a fan of Poirot and Marple could ask for. You have damsels, socialites, rogues, lovers and of course the police.
If you are tired of the same old villages or the noise of London is too much and leaves you longing for Golden Age mysteries that still have a bit of a surprise to them, then I highly recommend this collection. It gives you just what you need. Beautifully put together and spaced out so that you are not in France forever and then in Italy forever. You are bounced around the continent which I feel adds a whirlwind sense to match the characters. I don’t typically like antholigies as I have an unhealthy distrust of short stories. This one however has opened me back up to honoring the short and long stories. It introduces you to new author and new viewpoints. Even if you do not particuarly like one story there is bound to be a dozen more that you will enjoy.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press in exchange for honest feedback**
Freelance Editor & Reviewer