Category Vintage Crime

Murder by the Book: Mysteries For Bibliophiles edited by Martin Edwards

This anthology is a real treat for the classic crime fans among us, but, I have no doubt, it can also be cherished by all bookworms alike! Edited by Martin Edwards, as usual, Murder by the Book features a mix of tales by familiar authors (thanks to British Library Crime Classic reprints) and a few […]

The Widow of Bath by Margot Bennett

I have mixed feelings about this book! There’s so much going on in the plot – crime classics author Julian Symons had high praise for The Widow of Bath when he wrote, “There are a dozen clever deceptions in this book, twice as many as most writers would have given us.” However, its protagonist Hugh […]

Guilty Creatures: A Menagerie of Mysteries edited by Martin Edwards

This is another solid collection by the British Library Crime Classics series – this time featuring stories with animals! The creatures in these stories are sometimes instrumental to the committing of the crime, and on others, they provide evidence to find out the two-legged guilty parties! The anthology begins with a story by Arthur Conan […]

The Chianti Flask by Marie Belloc Lowndes

The Chianti Flask is a peculiar addition to the British Library Crime Classics series as it is mostly a love story set on top of a mystery. ūüôā The story begins with a trial where Laura Dousland, a young woman in her twenties, is being tried for the murder of her husband Fordish, who was […]

Two-Way Murder by E. C. R. Lorac

Publication of Two-Way Murder marks a momentous moment in the British Library Crime Classics series, as it is the first time the book is getting published after being “lost” for over six decades! This last novel by E. C. R. Lorac, written shortly before her death, had slipped through the cracks upon her passing in […]

Murder’s a Swine by Nap Lombard

Murder’s a Swine is a unique addition to the British Library Crime Classics series as Nap Lombard is actually the pen name of the husband and wife writing duo Neil Stewart and Pamela Johnson. They co-wrote a pair of crime novels during their thirteen years of marriage featuring Agnes and Andrew Kinghof, a young amateur […]

The Corpse in the Waxworks by John Dickson Carr

When I learnt that Edgar Allan Poe was one of John Dickson Carr’s literary influences, I felt quite apprehensive about reading The Corpse in the Waxworks. I’m not a fan of Poe, as his stories are way too sinister for my taste. But I was hooked by this novel’s opening (“Bencolin [Carr’s detective] wasn’t wearing […]

A Surprise for Christmas and Other Seasonal Mysteries Edited by Martin Edwards

British Library Crime Classics publishes a Christmas anthology each year and curling up with it on Christmas Eve has now become a tradition of mine. But alas, like with many other things in 2020, it didn’t go the way I hoped this Christmas, and I didn’t quite manage to pick this up until a few […]

The Progress of a Crime by Julian Symons

If I were to pick the top three vintage crimes writers I discovered thanks to British Library Crime Classics, Julian Symons would undoubtedly make that list. I loved¬†The Color of Murder¬†which I read a while back, which is more of commentary on the justice system than a whodunit. Similarly,¬†The Progress of a Crime¬†which was inspired […]

Checkmate to Murder: A Second World War Mystery by E. C. R. Lorac

Checkmate to Murder is set during the Blitz, and the story begins in Rosanne and Bruce Manton’s dilapidated studio apartment in Hampstead, London. Rosanne and Bruce, two siblings, are a wood engraver and an artist, respectively. With the war, their income streams have dried up, and now they are constantly oscillating between “absolutely broke” and […]

The Man Who Didn’t Fly by Margot Bennett

The Man Who Didn’t Fly, shortlisted for both the Gold Dagger and Edgar awards in 1955, is one of my favorites among the British Library Crime Classics I have so far read. In it, four men had arranged to fly to Dublin on a small plane from an obscure airport in England. But on the […]

Settling Scores: Sporting Mysteries by Martin Edwards

Settling Scores was such a curious read for me because I tend to avoid activities that require physical exertion! Chess has always been my idea of sports (if you’d like a good chess story, I highly recommend The Royal Game by Stefan Zweig and Theory of Shadows by Paolo Maurensig), and the limited knowledge I […]

Maigret’s Pickpocket by Georges Simenon

In the sixty-sixth installment of the Inspector Maigret series, Maigret is riding the bus to the Police Judiciary one morning when he gets pickpocketed. The perpetrator who jumps off the bus and runs away with Maigret’s wallet is around twenty-five: “He looked as if he had not slept, and had recently been through some difficult […]

Death in White Pyjamas and Death Knows no Calendar by John Bude

John Bude is one of my favourites out of all the vintage crime novelists I’ve discovered thanks to British Library Crime Classics, and I got a double dose of fun here in what must be their thickest book so far! According to Martin Edwards’ Introduction, Bude wrote both Death in White Pyjamas and Death Knows […]

Murder in the Mill-Race: A Devon Mystery by E. C. R. Lorac

Whenever I feel under the weather, like I’m feeling these days (I have an annoying infection!), Classic Crimes are my go-to genre. These cozy novels don’t take a lot of mental capacity, and surprisingly, they have a calming effect on me (perhaps because my troubles pales next to getting murdered!). ūüėÄ In¬†Murder in the Mill-Race, […]