Perfect Crimes: My Favorite Mystery Stories

Elliott Roosevelt, Editor
Elliott Roosevelt, Editor St. Martin's Press $17.95 (207p) ISBN 978-0-312-03411-5
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
The 11 short stories collected here were chosen by Roosevelt ( Murder in the Oval Office ) because contemporary ``readers . . . don't know many of these classic tales.'' Some have withstood the test of time: Cornell Woolrich's suspenseful Three O'Clock ; Steve Fisher's Laura -esque study of obsessive perversion, Goodbye, Hannah ; Russell Maloney's farcical Inflexible Logic , in which six monkeys at typewriters do, indeed, write Hamlet . Craig Rice's One More Clue is a fine introduction to her lawyer/sleuth John J. Malone, and Stanley Ellin's Coin of the Realm remains a gripping narrative. But some entries disappoint: Harry Kemelman's suspend-your-disbelief study in deduction, The Nine Mile Walk , and Lord Dunsany's easy-to-solve The Two Bottles of Relish , among others. Since the stories do not focus exclusively on ``the perfect crime,'' the collection is deceptively titled. (Dec.)
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