In honour of multi award-winning author Peter Lovesey, the members of the Detection Club have written twenty-two twisty - and twisted - short stories that will take you on a journey from cosy English towns to the glaciers of Iceland and the glittering towers of Dubai. The collection is edited by current Detection Club president Martin Edwards and features stories from Ann Cleeves, Simon Brett, Andrew Taylor and several other best-loved crime authors. The Detection Club was founded by the creme de la crime of British crime writing in 1930 and its members included Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Anthony Berkeley and the Club's first president, G. K. Chesterton. The Detection Club was a way for crime writers to get together, socialise and discuss ideas, a tradition that continues to this day.
Being a huge fan of Peter Lovesey, in particular his Peter Diamond series I just had to read this book. I was not familiar with all the authors featured here, but they are all fond of Lovesey’s writing and attempted to homage his work in some of their entries.
The best parts are the fore- and afterword by Len Deighton and respectively Peter Lovesey himself. Deighton talks about (crime) writing in more general terms while Lovesey shares a few anecdotes about his time in the Detection Club.
I did not like all the tales included here; some of them were really not my cup of tea at all, but there were enough strong entries to balance this out. My favourite stories where “Murder And Its Motives” by Martin Edwards about a particularly twisted family running a bookstore; Michael Jecks’ “Alive Or Dead” and L. C. Tyler’s delightful “The Trials Of Margaret”. The first lines of the latter already made me laugh out loud:
“Margaret’s first thought on waking was that she had had an unusually good night’s sleep. It was only as she rolled over in bed and came face to face (as it were) with the back of Lionel’s head that she remembered she had murdered her husband the evening before.”
Among the entries there is also a quite witty sonnet by Simon Brett, which just shows that this is not your usual crime anthology.
Recommended reading for Peter Lovesey fans or just readers who like mystery tales with a dark sense of humour.