Edited by Martin Edwards.
There's nothing like a short story collection to see you through a weekend away from the rest of your books, and that's certainly one reason why I like them so much. The British Library collections have never failed me yet, and this one was no exception to that rule.
I say this every time but the series continues from strength to strength - at least I certainly think so. I loved this collection, Margery Allingham's 'A Proper Mystery' was my favourite - it's a dark tale of sabotage and vegetable marrows which manages to be as funny as it is tense, as well as a beautifully executed vision of country life - and all without a single murder.
Leonora Wodehouses 'The Inquest' does have a murder, but also an unexpected (and pleasing) twist, it seems we really lost a talent when she died before she could really develop her literary career (she was P.G. Wodehouse's step daughter if you were wondering about the name). It's another highlight - these two alone are worth the purchase price - so the other eleven stories are quite the bonus.
It's hard to say much without either writing a list or giving a lot away, or just repeating how much I love this collection over and over again. (I really do). Which is why I've never understood why short story anthologies aren't much more popular, who couldn't get excited by the prospect of a bakers dozen of carefully chosen stories each with something unexpected to offer. For me these British Library collections are a chance to meet old friends and find new ones, which helps on those occasions when I find myself face to face with boxes of old penguin crime novels looking for a familiar name (Christine's book cabin in Market Harborough - it's in a shed at the back of a car park near the Co-Op if you're ever in the area - has just such boxes...)