Classic Detective Stories

G. K. Chesterton, Author, Edgar Wallace, Author, Arthur Conan Doyle, Author
G. K. Chesterton, Author, Edgar Wallace, Author, Arthur Conan Doyle, Author and others, read by Edward Hardwicke. CSA Word $26.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-9349-9716-1
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Edward Hardwicke (who played Dr. Watson from 1986 to 1994 on various British Sherlock Holmes TV series) has the perfect voice and accent for this outstanding sampling of short, very British detective tales. Naturally, his Watson is pitch-perfect in Doyle’s “The Dying Detective,” but his Holmes is just as skillful. For Edgar Wallace’s J.G. Reeder (“The Green Mamba” and “The Poetical Policeman”), his delivery is unassuming but wry; as Sax Rohmer’s psychic antique dealer Morris Klaw (“The Case of the Tragedies of the Greek Room”), Hardwicke adopts a sharply arrogant style, and his version of C. Day Lewis’s Nigel Strangeways (“The Assassin’s Club”) is unadorned old-school stiff upper lip. His Inspector Morse and assistant Lewis (in Colin Dexter’s “The Burglar”) are satisfactory approximations of the characters’ TV portrayals, though that story and Muriel Spark’s “Chimes” fall a bit short of the “classic” standard set by the others. (Jan.)

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