The British Library Crime Classics anthologies are always something to look forward to. The latest collection of 14 short stories gives us detectives and criminals who, using a variety of scientific disciplines, solve…or try to get away with…murder.
The authors as always vary. Well known authors include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy Sayers. But there are also authors most readers will never have heard of, such as C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne and C. E. Bechhofer Roberts.
I could have done without H. C. Bailey’s The Broken Toad, but then I’m not a Bailey fan to begin with. Also, The Case of the Chemist in the Cupboard by Ernest Dudley left me wanting to find a method of doing away with his detective, Dr. Morelle, scientific or not.
The remaining 12 are great stories. The highlights for me were –
- The New Cement by Freeman Wills Crofts, in which Inspector French prevents murder using chemistry.
- In the Teeth of the Evidence by Dorothy Sayers, which uses forensic dentistry to solve a murder.
- Blood Sport by Edmund Crispin which was a very short but effective story involving ballistics.
- Martin Edwards introductions for all 14 stories were not just informative, but entertaining and insightful. Well worth reading.
This, in my opinion, is the best of the anthologies so far. The stories are very entertaining, and are apt representatives of the genre.
My Judgement – 4.25/5
My edition was a review copy made available for my review by Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press.