cover image The Night of the Wolf

The Night of the Wolf

Paul Halter, , trans. from the French by Robert Adey and John Pugmire. . Wildside, $12.95 (159pp) ISBN 978-0-8095-6259-6

Most of the 10 outstanding stories in this collection from French author Halter, the first English-language edition of his work, center on an impossible crime, a still potent subgenre that was once a fixture of last century’s golden age of detective fiction. Halter sets up puzzles for his sleuths that appear to defy any rational explanation and then provides logical and satisfying solutions that few, if any, readers will anticipate. John Dickson Carr fans should be particularly impressed by the variations Halter plays on the no-footprint-in-the-snow-near-the-corpse premise, especially with “The Abominable Snowman,” in which witnesses see a snowman come to life and stab a man to death. Readers intrigued by such situations as how bodies in a locked vault could move around or how three people could be shot to death in a sealed escalator with no one nearby, will relish these tales. One hopes that Halter’s impossible crime novels will soon be made available in English as well. (Dec.)