cover image Golden Age Detective Stories

Golden Age Detective Stories

Edited by Otto Penzler. Penzler, $25.95 (312p) ISBN 978-1-61316-216-3

Fourteen authors previously represented by their novels in the American Mystery Classics series demonstrate their skills in shorter form in this superior anthology. Cornell Woolrich, best known for his tales of passion and despair, changes gears with the puzzler “The Mystery in Room 913.” Multiple occupants of a hotel room jump out of its ninth-floor window, leaving suicide notes behind, but the house detective is convinced something else is going on. Clayton Rawson perfects hiding a clue fairly in “From Another World,” in which his magician-sleuth, the Great Merlini, must solve a fatal stabbing in a room whose door and window were sealed with paper. In addition to well-known contributors, such as Ellery Queen and Erle Stanley Gardner, Penzler presents memorable tales from the lesser-known, such as H.F. Heard, whose reimagined Sherlock Holmes appears in “The Enchanted Garden,” and Bayard Kendrick, creator of the blind detective Capt. Duncan Maclain, who demonstrates his considerable abilities in “5 – 4 = Murderer.” This sampler is an easy gateway to other volumes in this high-quality series. (July)