cover image The Crime of Miss Oyster Brown and Other Stories

The Crime of Miss Oyster Brown and Other Stories

Peter Lovesey. Crippen & Landru, $20 trade paper (236p) ISBN 978-1-936363-36-0

First published in the U.K. in 1994, this first U.S. edition gathers 18 superb mystery stories by MWA Grand Master Lovesey (the Peter Diamond series). While “The Crime of Miss Oyster Brown” may seem to follow a traditional path, Lovesey quietly sets the stage for a climax filled with unexpected revelations. As the author notes in the introduction, “the unexpected is what you are entitled to expect from a short story.” “Youdunnit,” which became a cause célèbre in France, begins with an invitation: “YOU. Yes, you, reading this. How would you like to be a character in this story?” The barber’s monologue that constitutes “Curl Up and Dye” builds to a squirm-worthy conclusion. “The Haunted Crescent” is a deliciously deceptive Christmas ghost tale. “The Curious Computer” will have Sherlockians smiling, and sly and funny barbs stud the epistolary tale “The Pomeranian Poisoning.” Lovesey provides a variety of formats, along with his signature humor, elegant prose, and plentiful surprises. This collection offers pure, satisfying pleasure. Agent: Jane Gelfman, Gelfman Schneider. (July)