The second Murder Squad anthology (after 2001’s Murder Squad) showcases the talents of five British authors: Ann Cleeves, Martin Edwards, Margaret Murphy, Stuart Pawson, and Cath Staincliffe. The 13 stories range from a high-quality Sherlock Holmes pastiche to grim tales of revenge. Edwards channels Doyle effectively in “The Case of the Musical Butler,” in which a nobleman seeks the detective’s help in tracing a gifted servant who has inexplicably disappeared about the same time as some bloodstained clothing was found on his estate. In Pawson’s title tale, a number of short story writers realize that they’ve all been victimized by a bestselling plagiarist and plot their retribution. Cleeves’s “Basic Skills,” despite its brevity, packs a vicious final punch to the gut. Fans of British crime fiction will find a lot to like. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/12/2012 Release date: 05/01/2012 Genre: Fiction
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