Saturday, July 18, 2015

Resorting to Murder: Review

Resorting to Murder is one of those books that call the name of the dedicated vintage mystery reader when she walks into the library. At least...the name of this dedicated vintage mystery reader. Martin Edwards and British Library Crime Classics--with the help of the Poisoned Pen Press here in the States--have been steadily re-introducing classic crime novels and short stories to a modern readership. For those of us who already know and love the Golden Age of detective stories, this is an incredible bonanza--a chance for some of us who haven't a fortune to spend on ABE books or Ebay to get our hands on original editions to read the work of authors whose names we've heard/seen. 

This is a collection of such short stories. A collection with a holiday theme--holiday in the British sense, referring to a vacation of sorts rather than Christmas or Halloween. The authors take us to seaside resorts and French hotels, on walking tours and mountain-climbing trips. We enjoy stories by well-known authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, G. K. Chesterton and Anthony Berkeley, but also sample the work of Phyllis Bentley, Helen Simpson, and M. McDonnell Bodkin and others. We see murderers polish off their victims through drowning and climbing accidents and disappearances down boggy holes. There are houses that scream and a prison governor who is mysteriously transported from the prison grounds to the wreckage of his car at the bottom of a cliff. 

Of course, murder may not be everyone's idea of the perfect holiday get-away, but a good murder or two (or fourteen--which just happens to be the number in this collection) with a classic detective to ferret out the clues and resolve the mystery is just the kind of vacation I like. This is a grand group of stories with puzzles to keep the armchair traveler absorbed and entertained.  ★★★★


Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

I get very impatient with short stories. I usually just start liking the characters when the story ends. How long are these short stories? Long enough to like the characters?

Bev Hankins said...

Hmmm--well, all I can say is that I didn't feel short-changed in any of them. But with several of the stories, I was already familiar with the characters through other works.
I don't know exactly what you might need in order to feel like the the stories are long enough.

TracyK said...

This sounds very attractive but I just can't afford to buy all the short story collections like this.

Bev Hankins said...

TracyK--fortunately, my library had this one. And they look to be bringing in several of these reprints.

fredamans said...

I think I would like this one a lot. My British heritage love the theme, and I am a fan of short stories. Great review!