cover image Continental Crimes

Continental Crimes

Edited by Martin Edwards. Poisoned Pen, $12.95 trade paper (278p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0748-8

Detection Club president Edwards (Crimson Snow) puts his expertise to good use in this superb reprint anthology of 14 short stories by British writers set in continental Europe. As with the best of such compilations, readers of classic mysteries will relish discovering unfamiliar authors, along with old favorites such as Arthur Conan Doyle (“The New Catacomb”) and G.K. Chesterton (“The Secret Garden”). Many will finish F. Tennyson Jesse’s “The Lover of St. Lys” wanting to see more of her unique sleuth, Solange Fontaine, who investigates crimes “with the end always in view of throwing light on causes rather than on actual deeds.” Agatha Christie’s “Have You Got Everything You Want?” foreshadows a plot Christie used two decades later in a novel. Christie fans will also be interested in Marie Belloc Lowndes’s “Popeau Intervenes,” featuring a French sleuth, Hercules Popeau, who predates Hercule Poirot. J. Jefferson Farjeon, one of the lesser-known names, is represented by the nicely spooky “The Room in the Tower.” Those unfamiliar with the bygone age of crime fiction celebrated in this volume will find this the perfect introduction. [em](Aug.) [/em]