Resorting to Murder – Holiday Mysteries – Edited by Martin Edwards

Another review, another British Library Crime Classic…. This one is full of short stories which take place at holiday resorts of all types, though mainly in the 1920s and 30s. It includes such noted authors as Arthur Conan Doyle, and some authors so obscure that it has obviously been difficult to get copies of the stories. It does make for a variety of styles, length and outcomes, and some are so complex as to be difficult to follow, while others are very short to the point.

As with the other books in this series that are divided into a collection of short stories, this one took much longer to read. In fact, I think that it is the first one I’ve actually finished. I do enjoy them, but find them difficult to read for long periods as I do with the single author novels. It is partly because of the variety of styles and situations, and a swift relocation with characters necessary to read short stories one after another. One involving various ski/climbing “Accidents” was very confusing, whereas another was purely a legal question which reminded me of long ago problems set in criminal law exams. This would be an excellent book to take on holiday as it is a good length and does not require extended concentration. I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to any fans of “Golden Age” mysteries or anyone keen to find out what all the fuss is about. I must admit I do prefer the single mystery novels as it is interesting following the characters and plot over many chapters as opposed to everything being dealt with in a few pages.Writing Murder Mystery short stories are difficult, dealing with introducing characters, including detectives, the crime and frequently the solving of it within a believable context. It is fascinating to see how these writers have risen to the challenge.

 

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