Title: Vintage Crime (from CWA)
Edited by Martin Edwards
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers, Short Stories
Published on: 11th August 2020
Vintage Crime is a collection of short stories from the Crime Writers’ Association. The stories in this book are of the genre mystery and thriller – some new, some old.
I was familiar with a handful of authors whose stories are featured in this book. Also, I found some new authors whose works I will be following in the near future.
Overall, this is a fun collection of stories. The list of favorites is long. Or maybe it is better to say almost all of them are my favorites.
As I read through, I made notes. I have included a gist of the stories from this book. It is safe to say this is going to be a long post. 😀
Money is Honey by Michael Gilbert
When Bohun reaches Mallet’s house (the client), he learns of Mallet’s ill health. But when Bohun is shown in to the man’s room, the man looks normal – no signs of having had a stroke. Two days later, Mallet is dead and Bohun is requested to visit his house again. Bohun is suspicious of Mallet’s death.
Strolling in the Square One Day by Julian Symons
Francis Quarles is approached by the wife of a government employee. She claims she’s being blackmailed by a street photographer. Quarles goes in search of the photographer to get the negatives back to the lady. He’s unsuccessful and the next day the lady no longer wants his services.
The Service Flat by Bill Knox
Marion Lister is thirty, brunette, attractive and lives alone in a small, top-floor service flat. Things were going well for Marion until she started to find things moved in her flat. The dirty ashtray is now clean, a cushion rumpled and so on. She doubts someone’s been using her service flat for god knows what reason. She makes a plan to catch the person red-handed and that is when she discovers something mysterious.
Footprint in the Sky by John Dickson Carr
Dorothy is a main suspect in an attack on her late mother’s best friend Mrs Topham. Dorothy and Topham had an ugly fight the previous day. Only two sets of footprints (in snow) are found – one going to Topham’s house and the other leaving; small-sized footprint – Dorothy’s shoe size is 4. Dorothy is a sleep walker so she believes she might have bashed Mrs Topham’s head in a fit of rage. Colonel March is called to the scene of crime.
The Woman Who Had Everything by Celia Fremlin
Maggie wakes up to find herself having nodded off at the beach. She might be having a heatstroke because she finds it difficult to speak or move her body. She finally makes an attempt to open her eyes and find herself at home – she tried to end her life for the third time (unsuccessfully).
The Nuggy Bar by Simon Brett
Hector Griffiths is planning a murder. After his wife’s ‘sudden and accidental’ death, he was expecting to receive a fair portion of her wealth. But she left it all to her teenage daughter from the first marriage. Hector is being a caring stepfather to the girl for over two years now and enough is enough!
Inspector Ghote and the Noted British Author
Inspector Ghote is assigned to the Shivaji park case. A husband-wife duo were murdered while their teenage son was tied up. The burglars escaped with some valuables. The boy’s screams awoke the neighbor – a Noted British Author named Reymond. Mr Reymond alerted the police. Having written a handful of crime novels, Reymond wants to tag along with Ghote. Thus began the search for the absconding servant…
The Perfect Alibi by Paula Gosling
A sergeant tells his rookie partner about a diamond heist that happened years ago. A man was falsely identified as the diamond thief by the witness. As per rules, the falsely accused man’s alibi is checked and this is where the real mystery begins.
Cuckoo in the Wood by Lesley Grant-Adamson
This is what could have been a love story of Tom and Mary; had Mary not rejected Tom’s proposal. Instead, we see Tom drinking at the local pub. There’s a talk about the current affairs (in the village). Tom reminisces the times he pursued Mary. Mary married someone else and had a baby. And then there’s more…
In Those Days by Liza Cody
A landlady writes a condolence letter to her dead tenant’s brother. She rants about the ‘modern’ behavior of young girls. She tells him how his sister could have made a fortune clicking photographs of decent looking men and women. Instead, she took to street photography – focusing her camera lens on the seedy street below. One day, the landlady finds the young woman at the bottom of the stairs – dead.
Turning Point by Anthea Fraser
A middle-aged woman with three children and a busy husband is bored of her life. She comes upon a poster of an exhibition by an artist whose biography she recently read. She decides to go away for a few days, pay the exhibition a visit and laze around the place. But when she reaches the place, she meets her school-crush and this is when the real story begins.
The Hand that feeds me by Michael Z. Lewin
This story is quite different from your usual mystery. I wouldn’t go much into details but I will tell you this. The story is all based on ‘perspective’ and ‘justice’.
Cold and Deep by Frances Fyfield
Sarah’s agreed to meet her sister at her sister’s FIL’s place. Richard, the brother-in-law’s brother is engaged to the ‘very sweet and charming’ Fiona. It so turns out, too much sweetness can make one bitter.
Moving on by Susan Moody
A best-selling author and his wife have changed houses seven times in the past ten years. Wherever they go, a man follows, accusing the author of sleeping with his wife.
The Woman who loved Elizabeth David by Andrew Taylor
Anne is grieving the sudden death of her husband. She goes to the bank soon after the funeral and learns the husband’s account is overdrawn. Anne plays detective and finds her husband visited the jewelers a few days before his death. But her husband did not gift her any jewelry…
Nowhere to be Found by Mat Coward
Jerry is woken up in the middle of the night by his friend Alan. Alan and his wife Jackie have had a fight and broken up. Alan wants Jerry to pick him up as soon as possible. On the way back, Alan asks to be dropped in the middle of nowhere. And it’s pouring cats and dogs. Three years later, Jerry is worried because Alan never got contacted him again.
Interior, with Corpse by Peter Lovesey
A painting that closely resembles a war veteran’s living room is discovered. What’s more interesting is, the painting depicts a woman lying dead near the hearth. Is this painting a figment of imagination or is there more to the story?
The Egyptian Garden by Marjorie Eccles
Mrs Palmer is taking a trip down the memory lane in Egypt. She’s not happy with the fact that the city does not look anything like the one she saw years ago. Decades ago, newly married, Mrs Palmer spent years in Egypt with her husband. She even made a garden in the hot and dry climate.
Melusine by Martin Edwards
Have you heard of the fairy tale Melusine? She was beautiful but she had a terrible secret. When she fell in love and got married, she made her husband promise he would never ask her about the secret.
What has this got to do with the story? Jason’s wife Mel has a terrible secret. The one she doesn’t want Jason to find out. There’s a plague going on too and Jason is fed up of culling thousands of animals. On top of it is the curiosity behind his wife’s “secret”.
Top Deck by Kate Ellis
Nov 1965, Keith is on his way back home (in the bus) when he witnesses a crime in an apartment complex. On the same street as the apartment complex lives Keith’s boss Mr Kelly. When Keith reaches the office the next day, the office is filled with an air of excitement and gossip.
Sins of Scarlet by Robert Barnard
Cardinal Pascona and his fellow electors are getting ready for the vote. A new Pope will be decided within a few days. The day before the elections, Cardinal Borremi, a strong contender, dies in mysterious circumstances.
All She Wrote by Mick Herron
Daisy is sent on a covert operation. A little island is going to be taken over by a General – by coup. Daisy is supposed to spy on him. Well, this isn’t your usual spy story…
Many thanks to Flame Tree Press and NetGalley for the ARC.