2014: 73. The Oxford Book of English Detective Stories

"Colonel Mathurin was one of the aristocrats of crime; at least Mathurin was the name under which he had accomplished a darting bank robbery in Detroit which had involved the violent death of the manager, though it was generally believed by the police that the Rossiter who was at the bottom of some long-firm frauds in Melbourne was none other than Mathurin under another name, and the designer and chief gainer in a sensational murder case in the Midlands was the same mysterious and ubiquitous personage."

First lines of "The Stir Outside the Cafe Royal" by Clarence Rook

The Oxford Book of English Detective Stories, Edited by Patricia Craig

Damn, girl - when I went onto Amazon Affiliates to get the html for this post, I saw that this book was selling for $65.00! Since I myself paid $0.50 for it at the Bath Maine book sale, I am feeling pretty smug.  It is, as the title suggests a collection of British mystery stories from the earliest mystery stories (the pretty boring one quoted above - like that run on first sentence?) to some total classics - Witness for the Prosecution, Doyle, Sayers, etc.  And it goes all the way to modern masters - James, Rendell, et. al.  As with any collection, of course, there is varied quality, but over all I loved reading these.  It was actually the first book I read after I woke from surgery, and it was perfect - light enough to keep me going, but engaging as all heck.  I especially enjoyed the P.D. James story - I'd never read any of her short fiction before, and this one was great.  If you like mystery fiction you couldn't go wrong with this - though I'm not quite sure I would spent $65  on it - maybe ask at your local library instead.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017