Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Penguin Book of Crime Stories Vol.2 Selected by Peter Robinson

Well, if Peter Robinson's name is on the cover, then I'm reading it! He is one of my favourite authors. His Inspector Banks series is well written, intelligent and addicting.

The Penguin Book of Crime Stories Volume II is unique in that Robinson approached each of the contributors and asked them to submit a story for consideration that they were proud of, but 'felt it had been neglected.' The result is a compilation of 15 stories from well known authors and a few who were new to me. (Short story collections are a great way to sample and discover new authors.)

I tucked this one into my purse last week when I had to attend a series of workshops. Short stories are perfect for sneaking in a read during a break. It's also a lot easier to tear yourself away from reading when you can finish a story!

Reginald Hill contributes a story featuring Inspector Pascoe. He's enjoying leisure time in the pub, enjoying a pint with other dog lovers and playing an idle verbal game of 'what would you rescue in a fire?' Has the game become reality when a fire does break out in one of the player's home? An excellent ending!

Lee Child also contributes, but it's not a Reacher story. Wolfe, born and bred in the city, is forced to take a job in the suburbs. He finds he quite likes it and tries to figure out a way to stay.... Not Reacher, but an interesting character from an author I enjoy.

Kinsey Milhone makes an appearance, agreeing to give up two hours to pacify a woman who comes to her office. What seems to be nothing is something. Again, another excellent ending I didn't see coming.

There are several historical stories included as well that I enjoyed from Canadian Maureen Jennings and new to me Canadian author Barbara Fradkin. She's captured the early days of Ottawa and I think Dr. Browne would make an excellent recurring character.

What a treat to have a story by Richard Dennis Murphy included. He passed away before he saw his book Darkness Before Noon published.

I was somewhat disappointed by Catamount, Ruth Rendell's entry. Nora, from England, visits her friend Carrie in Colorado regularly over the years. She hopes to see a cougar. For me there really was no crime involved, just a tragic inevitability. Well written, but I didn't think it fit.

I'm always fascinated with how an author can take a few pages, construct a beginning, middle and end and leave the reader feeling satisfied. And I was happy with Volume II (I also enjoyed volume 1) My only complaint - it ended too soon.....


Marie said...

This book is on my to-be-read pile. I can't wait to get to it after reading this. Well done.

Hannah Stoneham said...

Sounds great. I am getting really into short stories at the moment as well.

Thanks indeed for sharing


jenny wilson said...

another for my wishlist! I am trying to wean myself on to british crime novels (very unpatriotic of me) this could bean ideal start

fredamans said...

I awarded you, 'cause you rock!