Martin Edwards

Resorting to Murder

"...a lovely little box of confection to dip in and out while you put your feet up and relax."


Going on holiday can be as stressful as moving house and having financial worries. As shown in this collection of short stories – going on holiday can literally be murder! Fourteen stories from some of the greatest names in the crime fiction genre, notably Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and G.K. Chesterton are collected alongside other names from that era who have since fallen out of fashion – and out of print. Destinations range from Switzerland to France to the English seaside. All show that although the resort may look idyllic, murder is never lurking far away.

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I always enjoy reading something crime-orientated from the Golden era. Back then they were written purely for entertainment value. I find the 'oldies' embody a simpler age when life seemed much more relaxed and not fraught with technology. However, some stories do not wear well with time and with all things antique, some have worn better than others. As with any chocolate box, some flavours are more preferable to others. There are some wonderful delights here and Edwards' collection has introduced me to writers I had a) never heard of before and b) will be searching for more of their work. In particular I would point readers to the stories by Leo Bruce (who I had heard of but have never read), Anthony Berkeley (who wrote 'Malice Aforethought', but is less well-known under his own name) and the great find for me was Phyllis Bentley. 'Where is Mr. Manetot?' doesn't sound the most intriguing title, but with an assured hand Bentley delivers a lovely little twist at the end of her tale. The other find is Gerald Findler's, 'The House of Screams' which is a wonderful chilling mystery with a remote house, screams in the night and a proverbial skeleton in the cupboard! Unfortunately, this appears to be all the man published which is a great shame. This is a wicked little collection, a lovely little box of confection to dip in and out while you put your feet up and relax.

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