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Manor houses and murder, a classic British pairing
February 3, 2016
Murder at the Manor
Ed. by Martin Edwards
Poisoned Pen Press
Mystery & Thrillers; A British Library Crime Classic
Pub Date: February 2, 2016
As a lover of classic mysteries, I’ve been extremely impressed by Poisoned Pen Press’s recent releases of volumes from the British Library Crime Collection. It is always a pleasure to discover gems that have long been out of print.
Murder at the Manor is a fantastic anthology which will thrill anyone who enjoys classic British mysteries. While some of the authors are well known, such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, many will be new to readers. The stories are imaginative and differ greatly, but what all have in common is the rural, country house setting.
The country house setting has long been a staple amongst mystery authors. Its isolation makes communication difficult, and the setting means a limited number of suspects. At the same time, it references a bygone era of wealthy and aristocratic landowners who indulge in lavish house parties. The short stories included in Murder at the Manor are amongst some of the best examples of the genre.
If you are a fan of classic British mysteries, I highly recommend you add Murder at the Manor to your library. You won’t be disappointed by the quality and the variety of tales within.
I received a copy of Murder at the Manor from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
The English country house is an iconic setting for some of the greatest British crime fiction. This new collection gathers together stories written over a span of about 65 years, during which British society, and life in country houses, was transformed out of all recognition. It includes fascinating and unfamiliar twists on the classic ‘closed circle’ plot, in which the assorted guests at a country house party become suspects when a crime is committed. In the more sinister tales featured here, a gloomy mansion set in lonely grounds offers an eerie backdrop for dark deeds. Many distinguished writers are represented in this collection, including such great names of the genre as Anthony Berkeley, Nicholas Blake and G.K. Chesterton. Martin Edwards has also unearthed hidden gems and forgotten masterpieces: among them are a fine send-up of the country house murder; a suspenseful tale by the Scottish writer J.J. Bell.