“Crime spreads across the globe in this new collection of short stories from the Crime Writer’s Association, as a conspiracy of prominent crime authors take you on a world mystery tour. Highlights of the trip include a treacherous cruise to French Polynesia, a horrifying trek in South Africa, a murderous train-ride across Ukraine and a vengeful killing in Mumbai. But back home in the UK, life isn’t so easy either. Dead bodies turn up on the backstreets of Glasgow, crime writers turn words into deeds at literary events, and Lady Luck seems to guide the fate of a Twickenham hood. Showcasing the range, breadth and vitality of the contemporary crime-fiction genre, these twenty-eight chilling and unputdownable stories will take you on a trip you’ll never forget.
Ann Cleeves, C.L. Taylor, Susi Holliday, Martin Edwards, Anna Mazzola, Carol Anne Davis, Cath Staincliffe, Chris Simms, Christine Poulson, Ed James, Gordon Brown, J.M. Hewitt, Judith Cutler, Julia Crouch, Kate Ellis, Kate Rhodes, Martine Bailey, Michael Stanley, Maxim Jakubowski, Paul Charles, Paul Gitsham, Peter Lovesey, Ragnar Jónasson, Sarah Rayne, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Vaseem Khan, William Ryan and William Burton McCormick”
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to damppebbles today and to my stop on the CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour blog tour. When an email arrived in my inbox headed ‘CWA Anthology blog tour’, well, my heart skipped a beat. It’s the kind of invitation that this little crime blogger was made for. I didn’t hesitate in replying with a big, fat ‘YES PLEASE’. I just had to be a part of this tour.
I am a fan of short story collections and anthologies. I enjoy the variety, the way the author has to make their point in a significantly reduced number of words and still make it interesting and believable. I love that anthologies give the reader the opportunity to dip in and out as they choose. In particular, I love THIS collection of worldly crime stories. So much so that I would go as far as saying this is the best collection I have read for some time.
When it comes to reviewing an anthology I’m always in two minds. Do I review each story individually or the book as a whole? I normally end up reviewing the book rather than the individual works, after all, who wants to read a 2500 word book review?! I’m going to stick to form and review the CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour as a whole. However, I would like to say that it would be very easy to review each story individually. In other collections, I have tended to find one or two stories where I wouldn’t know what to say. That would not be the case with the CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour, which is truly a magnificent collection of crime fiction.
Editor and contributor, Martin Edwards, introduces the book to the reader explaining how the participating writers were given the Mystery Tour theme with many interesting and different interpretations. Then we are thrown head first into the first offering, written by Ann Cleeves and titled ‘The Queen of Mystery’. I loved this story and thought it was a chilling yet elegant way to start the collection. It made me want to read more, I wanted to know whether the high standard shown by Cleeves could be backed up by her fellow contributing writers. And it could, it was.
If I listed every story I enjoyed then I would be basically giving you the contents page! And I’m sure you don’t need me to do that. ‘Accounting for Murder’ by Christine Poulson demonstrated a very different way of telling a crime story which I found incredibly interesting. At points, I wondered how the tale was going to be tied up but it was done well and felt strangely satisfying. My absolute favourite story in the entire book was written by William Ryan and is titled ‘The Spoils‘. The tale of a woman wronged and how deadly that can be – absolutely marvellous!
One of the other benefits of reading an anthology, and I find this quite often in the crime genre, is that writers who produce a series tend to include a short story featuring their main character. I was delighted to meet Ed James’s Detective Scott Cullen for the first time in ‘Travel is Dangerous’, having wanted to read James’s work for some time now. The same with Vaseem Khan’s Inspector Chopra in ‘Bombay Brigadoon’. Not only are these short stories very satisfying for existing fans but they work as excellent taster pieces for new readers.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. I could go on for hours telling you about the cleverly crafted tales, about the obvious love and devotion the writers have for their craft. I could include how much I, personally, appreciate crime writers and want to thank each and every one of them for the hours of enjoyment they give us readers (me!). I could, but I won’t today because I’ve gone on long enough already! Maybe I’ll save that for another time.
I love international crime so this was pretty much the perfect read for me. Chock-full of GREAT stories, written by some remarkably talented people and the perfect Christmas gift for the crime fiction fan in your life. This is a must-read book. Don’t miss out!
Five out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an eARC of CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour. The above review is my own unbiased opinion. My thanks to Anne and Orenda Books for asking me to join the tour and providing me with a review copy.
CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour edited by Martin Edwards was published in the UK by Orenda Books on 15th November 2017 and is available in hardcover, paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |