Title: Do not Exceed the Stated Dose
Author: Peter Lovesey
Published on: 1 February 1998
Genre: Short Stories | Mystery and Thrillers
Do not Exceed the Stated Dose is a collection of short stories. The author ‘cautions’ the reader not to read more than two stories at a time because as the title suggests, one might not be able to handle more than the ‘stated dose’ of mysteries.
I read this book in three settings. (Overdosed!) They say reading short stories might take you out of a reading rut. I have been experimenting on this and sometimes it works, and sometimes, it doesn’t. Some of the stories in this collection are worth it while the rest are ‘meh’.
The first few stories are not all that interesting and I had second thoughts about continuing to read this book. One of the reviewers on Goodreads said the stories in the middle are better and they were right.
Disposing of Mrs Cronk is about a hitman who ‘offs’ the old missus for money. Men ask him to help them out and after a few days, their wives die ‘accidentally’. A rich man wants to off his wife and requests the services of the hitman. Every evil must come to an end, right? Or so they say…
The Mighty Hunter is about a widower trying to impress a lady. The lady breeds mice and it is her dream to be a lifetime member at the National Fancy Mouse Society. Few days later, a new family moves next door and they too are looking forward to winning the competition. The widower has a cat and if the cat would accidentally enter their shed and eat away all the mice, lady love would win the competition and become a lifetime member at the Mouse Society, right?
Murder in Store is about a young girl who finds Santa Clause dead in a toy store. Now, father Christmas is stiff as a log, that cannot happen, right? The store keeper calls for help and when the manager arrives, the dead body disappears! Case of the vanishing (dead) Santa…
Never a Cross Word is about a happily married elderly couple. The old man has had enough of his wife’s bantering and nagging and finally decides to kill her. It isn’t as simple as it sounds, is it?
The Odstock Curse is a creepy story of a curse that’s haunted the villagers. A gypsy’s curse, to be exact. And those who believed it to be poppycock are all dead. Um…
The Proof of the Pudding is not a ‘mystery’ per se. It’s about a bad-mouthed wife beater who has an affair with his dead brother’s wife. Rude to the missus and sweet to the brother’s missus, uh-huh. It’s Christmas and the sister-in-law has brought over Christmas pudding! If you are wondering if the story is similar to Christie’s Christmas Pudding, it isn’t.
Overall, this was an okay read. Some stories were really good while some were boring.