cover image Murder on the Short List

Murder on the Short List

Peter Lovesey. Crippen & Landru Publishers, $17 (235pp) ISBN 978-1-932009-73-6

Crippen and Landru's third collection of Lovesey's short mysteries is another triumph that brilliantly demonstrates the British author's range and wit. Lovesey, whose recent novels have been the superb fair-play puzzlers featuring Peter Diamond and Hen Mallin (The Secret Hangman, etc.), revives his earlier sleuths, the dogged Sergeant Cribb (in a Jack-the-Ripper-like whodunit, ""Razor Bill"") and the clueless Bertie, prince of Wales (in ""Bertie and the Christmas Tree""), both of Victorian vintage. ""Needle Match,"" which was chosen by the Crime Writers Association as the best short story of 2007, is a masterful example of misdirection set at Wimbledon in 1981 during a fiercely fought tennis match. Each of the 14 stories offers something to appeal to every mystery reader, no matter what subgenre is his or her favorite.