cover image Foreign Bodies

Foreign Bodies

Edited by Martin Edwards. Poisoned Pen, $12.95 trade paper (260p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0910-9

Edwards (Continental Crimes) has done mystery readers a great service by providing the first-ever anthology of golden age short stories in translation, with 15 superior offerings from authors from France, Japan, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Holland, Mexico, Russia, and elsewhere; even Anton Chekhov makes a contribution (“The Swedish Match”). Many tales make creative use of the conventions of Ronald Knox’s ten commandments for detective fiction. For example, Pierre Véry, a French author unaccountably ignored by American and British publishers, centers “The Mystery of the Green Room,” a clever and amusing homage to a locked-room classic, on an open-room puzzle. Another highlight is Koga Saburo’s “The Spider,” in which a zoology lab assistant looks into unsettling deaths connected with an odd laboratory shaped like a cylinder that rests on top of a towering pillar. Also notable is Jean-Toussaint Samat’s “Murder à la Carte,” which features poisoning by “nonpoisonous” substances. This thoughtfully assembled volume is a nice complement to The Realm of the Impossible, a 2017 reprint anthology of international impossible crime fiction. (Mar.)