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May 2019



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Serpents in Eden, ed. Martin Edwards

This book should perhaps be read as a companion to Murder at the Manor ; set in the country but with the murders taking place out of doors. In his introduction, Martin Edwards quotes Sherlock Holmes’ famous dictum (from The Copper Beeches), that there is more evil undetected in the countryside than in the city. Hence the title: murder in Eden destroys what should be a rural idyll. Again, many of the authors are well known. Conan Doyle appears, with a non-Holmes story and we have G K Chesterton and Margery Allingham, too. I liked the Dr Thorndyke mystery, by R Austin Freeman (must read more of these) and another scary one from Ethel Lina White. I’m usually disappointed when I find a book consists of short stories but these detective ones work well and are just the right length to read while having a cup of tea. What could be cosier? I enjoyed the country house book more than this one, but it’s still worth reading. Another book in the British Library Crime Classics series (lovely cover!), which will be out next March. I read this courtesy of Poisoned Pen Press via NetGalley.


I like their short story collections too - glad there are new ones coming soon.
I was underwhelmed by the first BLCC novels I read but the selections seem to be getting better. Really must see if I can get hold of Ethel Lina White's books or whether they're like hens' teeth.
I do love the covers on the books - they make the whole series all the more tempting.
They are lovely. At first I thought they were the best things about the books and that some of the authors were deservedly obscure. Since then I've read so many good ones that I've changed my mind.