©1992 Martin Greenberg; (P)2009 Phoenix
"Traditional mysteries and the short story form have been a perfect pair since Poe and Conan Doyle; this outstanding collection of original tales carries on the combination of genres." (Publishers Weekly)
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"Old Friends in Shorter Form"
These short stories were written by the most popular authors of what are now called "cozies ." Some of them feature their series detectives (Carolyn Hart's Harry O and Charlotte MacLeod's Sarah Kelling), but others wrote about new characters. Most novelists were very successful writing this length, but a couple of the stories seemed to end somewhat abruptly, as though they wanted to be novellas.
I particularly enjoyed MacLeod's over-the-top dialogue, full of alliteration and arch and erudite phrases. It would have been tiresome in a novel, but was fun in this small dose. Unfortunately, the narrator was unaware of the stylish twist or was unable to carry it off.
I thought the narration was the weakest part of the book. Perhaps the stories should have been narrated by those who regularly did each author's books. Even so, I recommend these stories to readers who enjoy well-plotted, well-written classic mystery stories.
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