Wednesday 22 June 2016

A couple of crime titles

More catching up to do today, two crime titles, starting with Resorting to Murder edited by Martin Edwards.

This is a collection of holiday based, mostly obscure, crime stories written by various crime writers, many of whom have been long forgotten. Which is a shame really because while the collection is a trifle hit and miss, the stories do mainly hit the spot. I particularly liked several. The Hazel Ice by H.C. Bailey is a mountaineering story based in the Swiss Alps... lots of red herrings and complicated working out of peoples' alibis and so forth. Great fun. Where is Mr. Manetot? by Phyllis Bentley was written in the form of a letter, and concerned a chap who overheard something sinister in a deserted railway station and felt compelled to follow it up. Nicely written with an interesting ending. A Mystery of the Sandhills by R. Austin Freeman revolves around clothes found abandoned in the sand-dunes, where is the owner? Has he drowned? The amateur detective is into solving crimes scientifically like Sherlock Holmes. Talking of whom there's an excellent Holmes story in this volume, The Adventure of the Devil's Foot, a Cornwall based tale that I can remember being very frightened by as a child when it was shown on TV in the 1960s. All in all this is a good collection of stories, some better than others, but isn't that always the way? Love the railway poster cover too.

Resorting to Murder is my book sixteen for Bev's Mount TBR 2016 challenge.

Next, The Serpent Pool again by Martin Edwards.

DCI Hannah Scarlett is still in The Lake District investigating cold cases. Her current case is the death of a young woman, Bethany Friend, six years ago. Her body had been found in the Serpent Pool but the police had been unable to discover whether she had committed suicide or been murdered. Meanwhile a good customer of Hannah's partner Marc, who sells rare books, dies in a fire. It's almost certainly murder unless he tied himself up and set fire to all his books. Is there a connection between the two deaths? Daniel Kind becomes involved via his sister and Hannah once again finds herself fighting her growing attraction to him. But the real worry for Hannah is how involved is Marc in these very odd deaths and can their relationship survive all of these upheavals?

It's been far too long since I read a Hannah Scarlett book, and I have a few to catch up on.... three more left to read. Which is quite nice really because I enjoyed The Serpent Pool an awful lot. There's always a very strong sense of place, the Lake District being where the series is set... and this one took place during the winter so that was extra nice. (I'm rather a winter sort of a person). The mystery plot was a strong one, I kind of guessed who the culprit was but not the whys and the whyfors, which turned out to be a bit unusual. Hannah's personal backstory is one I like a lot, although it's maybe a bit frustrating as we all know what she ought to do but whether she will or not is questionable. But that's how real life is so that's not a complaint at all. A really enjoyable book and I'll be going after the next book, The Hanging Wood very soon.



DesLily said...

hooray for crime stories lol. Reading one right now that I hope to finish before June is over. I don't know how you've had the time to read two books what with playing nurse at the same time. You are Wonder Woman!

FictionFan said...

I've been enjoying these anthologies from the British Library Classic Crime collection a lot. As you say, a bit hit or miss, but I've come across several authors I didn't know before whom I've enjoyed. And I've only read one of Edwards' own books so far, but am looking forward to reading more of the series - great sense of place and a likeable detective - just my kind of thing!

BooksPlease said...

I love the railway poster covers too - such a good idea to use them for these books. I've enjoyed all of Martin Edwards' own books, but haven't read any of the anthologies he's edited, so I'm looking forward to those. His own books are very good - you have some treats in store!

Cath said...

LOL, Pat. I don't feel like Wonder Woman... I just feel knackered. LOL! A little better now though with Peter being more mobile and independent. And a bit more time to sit and read.

Yvonne: They're very good aren't they... and such beautiful books to boot. Lovely to look at and hold. I also love some the names of these authors. Yes, I do enjoy ME Lake District books... I've even nabbed the next two from the library.

Margaret: I really like railway posters so these covers really appeal to me. Pleased to hear I have some treats in store. I just grabbed the next two Lake District books from the library. They look really good.