When I saw the title of this book for the first time I knew, that it soon must be in my library. That happend and now, after reading, there is my short review…
Title: Murder at the Manor – Country House Mysteries
Author (editor in this case): Martin Edwards
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press in association with the British Library
Published: February 2016
List price: $12.95
The book Murder at the Manor – Country House Mysteries is a part of the British Library Crime Classics series – a series of short crime stories by various authors which have in common some main themes. In this case the main theme is, as you may expected, the english country house (manor house).
There are 16 stories in total:
– Arthur Conan Doyle: The Copper Beeches
– Dick Donovan: The Problem of Dead Wood Hall
– E. W. Hornung: Gentlemen and Players
– W. W. Jacobs: The Well
– G. K. Chesterton: The White Pillars Murder
– Ernest Bramah: The Secret of Dunstan’s Tower
– J. S. Fletcher: The Manor House Mystery
– J. J. Bell: The Message on the Sun-Dial
– Sapper: The Horror at Staveley Grange
– Anthony Berkeley: The Mystery of Horne’s Copse
– James Hilton: The Perfect Plan
– Margery Allingham: The Same to Us
– E. V. Knox: The Murder at the Towers
– Ethel Lina White: An Unlocked Window
– Nicholas Blake: The Long Shot
– Michale Gilbert: Weekend at Wapentake
The list of writers represented in this collection is in my opinion very interesting – from great names of this genre such as A. C. Doyle, G. K. Chesterton, Anthony Berkeley or Margery Allingham to a little known writers – I have to admit that about some of them I have never heard of. The stories in this collection, written over a period of around 65 years, are also very various but all have in common the main theme – classical ‘whodunit‘ crime located at the manor.
The quality of the stories is variable, some of them are very exciting, some are good and some are – well, not so engaging. But certainly it is a very good anthology to see how the genre developed over time. The short introduction of the author before the each story is also very convenient.
In my opinion, Martin Edwards has done a good job – all stories are overall interesting, some of them are known very well, but some of them you will probably read for the first time. I think I can recommend it as a perfect book for winter evening when sitting on the chair near fireplace and sipping good scotch whisky… The only drawback for me is the paperback binding – I prefer hard binding even for this genre.