I have a couple of these Crime anthologies from Profile, and read this one back in early December with some excitement given the list of authors (Margery Allingham, Ellis Peters, Edmund Crispin, John Mortimer, Nicholas Blake, Micheal Innes, Gillian Linscott, Ethel Lina White, Julian Symons, and Dorothy L. Sayers).
On the whole the book lived up to its promise. There are some cracking good stories in here, Ethel Lina White’s ‘Waxworks’ being particularly good - as much horror story as crime. There were other stories that turned out to be a bit of a disappointment though - Michael Innes’ ‘The Ascham’ was a bit of a mess.
Overall I came away feeling that the British Library collections have spoilt me a bit. Any collection will throw up a favourite, but the BL books have rarely had a story in them that has made me wonder why it’s there (I can’t think of a single one off hand). This collection felt like a couple of things were there for no better reason than the seasonal setting (I really hated that Micheal Innes).
Reminding myself again what’s actually in the book it has a lot more excellent than indifferent or annoying (Innes has cast a long shadow) though, so I am tempted to search out more of the series beyond the ones I already have.
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