Mystery

Vintage Crime Edited by Martin Edwards

I read this collection more than a month ago and spent all that time postponing my review. I wanted to talk about the individual stories in the book for two reasons. My reactions to many varied and making sure all the separate author names are catalogued for my own reference in the future.
First off, I should mention the title is a bit of a misnomer. The stories begin way back in time but end up in our own generation. Although those stories were equally good, they were mildly jarring. I only intend to write a line or two per story, and since there are quite a few of them, it might seem to be a tedious post. One way of enjoying/reading it could be to look out for author names familiar to you.

Money is Honey by Michael Gilbert – 1956

  • I have read and liked a full work by this author previously
  • Short tale with not much of a mystery but entertaining characters and an ominous atmosphere
  • Family feud with feigned illnesses and real deaths
  • I was not satisfied with the ending

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Strolling in the Square one day by Julian Symons

  • Unexpected direction of the narrative
  • Once again I was not sure of the ending
  • Begins and ends with a discussion around a photo and the implications surrounding it

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The service flat by Bill Knox – 1966

  • The plot is simple, we are faced with an empty flat and possible intruders
  • I thought I was following the breadcrumbs right but never saw the final twist coming

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Footprint in the sky by John Dickson Carr – 1968

  • I have read a few other works by the author
  • The ominous atmosphere is set from the very beginning.
  • The problem itself was simple ( it felt like the most obvious suspect) but the odd clue was a little surprising

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Woman who had everything by Celia Fremlin – 1984

  • With every story of hers I encounter I realise how much I like the women the author writes, they are so real
  • Here also we have a desperate woman who has a lot of shades to her
  • Well written and I never saw the ending/twist(s) coming.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The nuggy bar by Simon Brett 1985

  • This is a sad story with an untrustworthy narrator
  • There are funny bits to how things turned out for the aforementioned narrator during the planning stage
  • Well written but I was annoyed by the final outcome.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Inspector Ghote and the Noted British Author1985

  • I found certain quirks in the narration entertaining but on the whole it was an okay read
  • The plot did not lend itself to be self deduced since information was only revealed in bits
  • I found it really odd that the author had never visited the country he based his series in till almost the very end!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Perfect Alibi by Paula Gosling – 1991

  • A superior officer is entertaining his colleague with reminisces about a diamond robbery
  • I can see the shift in narrative styles and the twist caught me off guard!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cuckoo in the wood by Lesley Grant- Adamson1992

  • This is a sad story which was well written
  • I did not like where the narrative led and the images it left behind

Rating: 2 out of 5.

In those Days by Lisa Cody

  • The setup and the writing was well done
  • I think I understood what the implied solution was but I want to talk to someone who has read it and can point out the revelation moment to me.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Turning Point by Anthea Fisher1993

  • The twist was the saving grace of the story. I never saw it coming.
  • A lonely housewife decides to take a vacation and ends up having to think on her feet

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The hand that feeds me by Michael Z. Lewin

  • Did not realise who the narrator was till a few paragraphs in, this being the unique part of the story
  • It is not a mystery per se, and therefore, I was not so caught up in it

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Cold and Deep by Frances Fyfield – 1994

  • The atmosphere was set well but the flow of the story seemed obvious.
  • The writing was well done.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Moving On by Susan Moody – 1996

  • Convoluted situation with two friends and their spouses’ lives intertwining to disastrous consequences
  • Well done but sad and it left the possibilities mildly ambiguous.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

The woman who loved Elizabeth David by Andrew Taylor – 1998

  • Yet another sad story about a wronged woman that did not have me very excited
  • The twist saved some of it but overall not one of my favourites

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Nowhere to be found by Mat Coward – 1999

  • Ending was left hanging and made me jus plain sad for the turn of events

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Interior, With Corpse by Peter Lovesey – 2000

  • Pretty unique setup ( at least of the ones I have read)
  • Never saw the end coming when the narrative begins with a scarily accurate painting of a corpse

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Egyptian Garden by Marjorie Ecks – 2002

  • Although there is death in it, it is not a mystery
  • The stifling atmosphere added some feeling but it was all about family dynamics

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Melusine by Martin Edward – 2003

  • Not my kind of story
  • I did not see the twist coming but did not help me like the story either
  • We have another couple of friends who weigh in the others’ lives

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Top Deck by Kate Ellis – 2005

  • Simple story that did not go the way I thought it would, given that it begins with a man who suspects that we witnessed a murder
  • Interesting in its own way

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Sins of Scarlet by Robert Barnard – 2005

  • I found this a little weird and was not very drawn in by the possibilities

Rating: 2 out of 5.

All she wrote by Mick Herron – 2006

  • Once again I get the feeling that I do not ‘get’ the current thriller/mystery genre
  • Did not enjoy the turn of events, it seemed a very obvious progression

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Since I liked the older ones more than the newer ones, my total tally does come to be 3 stars on the whole.

I still would like to discuss that one story with anyone else who might have picked this book up!

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