English Country House Murders

English Country House Murders

by Thomas Godfrey

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780445408456
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 11/01/1990
Pages: 533
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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The English Country House Murders 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Variable - well, it is a book of short stories. The first few - the ones written when detective stories were new and the 'English Country House' mystery wasn't an established subgenre - range from dull to seriously depressing. Several of them (especially the Wilkie Collins) just aren't mysteries to me - they're depressing stories about depressing people doing nasty things to each other, but there's no puzzle to be solved. Later stories are much better - there's a Father Brown I don't think I'd read, and one of my favorite Lord Peter Wimsey stories. Good, but not a good reason to read this book.The later ones are, some of them, somewhat interesting - there are a few authors I'll look for more from. But a lot of them seem to go in for horror rather than mystery - or at least, plenty of gore. Not my cup of tea.It's not bad, but I'm not keeping it. The good parts are familiar from elsewhere and the bad ones outnumber them (for me! If you're addicted to locked-room mysteries, you'd probably love a lot of these).
MusicMom41 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Published in 1989, this is a wonderful collection of stories in a special sub genre of classic mysteries. The country house mystery was one of the most popular types of mystery from late Victorian Era until around the time of the post WWII era. The first story is a Sherlock Holmes classic and the last story is a Sherlock Holmes written by James Miles¿probably the best homage to this famous series I have ever read. I love this story because it centers on a famous English composer who was active in the late 19th and early 20th century. In between these two gems Godfrey has included most of the best mystery authors of that period including a novella length entry by Wilke Collins and all the giants of the Golden Age of women mystery writers. There are also a couple of writers with whom I was not familiar. The scariest story is by Ethel Lina White who was also the author of the novel on which Hitchcock based his classic movie ¿The Lady Vanishes.¿ I¿d love to find that book. Christiana Brand is another author that I had never read although she is still popular in England according to Godfrey. I plan to find her most famous book, Green for Danger, to see how she holds up in a novel length work. I was pleased to find Anthony Gethryn, the detective in Philip MacDonald¿s The List of Adrian Messenger, represented here and the two penultimate selections are by two of the best women mystery writers of the mid to later 20th century, Ruth Rendell and P.D. James. Many of the stories are as much psychological studies as they are puzzles to be solved. The excellent Introduction to the book and the informative blurbs before each story contribute to the enjoyment of the reader. I highly recommend this as an outstanding anthology of this type of mystery.
victorianrose869 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
June 24, 1999English Country House MurdersEdited by Sir Thomas GodfreyWonderful anthology of English ¿country house murders¿, in the style perfected by Agatha Christie. The stories are fine, but the best part is the hilarious intro, which includes a tongue-in-cheek list of ¿rules¿, i.e.: ¿Poison is the prescribed means for eliminating victims in English country house murders. The alternative is a good, solid wallop on the head.¿ Or ¿It is far better that the solution to the crime be ridiculously contrived, and that it rely on the perpetrator¿s and detective¿s knowledge of Egyptian hieroglyphics or the average yearly rainfall in Katmandu¿.¿ And ¿There must be servants present¿there must be someone to call the police and confuse issues later (¿Oh no, mum, begging your pardon ¿ Sir Charles did not retire for the night at 10 o¿clock. I found him blotto in the pantry at 2 a.m. when I went to get the rat poison you requested.¿). And ¿The larger the house, the better. Do not be put off by terms like ¿cottage¿. What was described in 1900 as a small cottage may well house the entire population of the Falkland Islands today.¿ I loved it. Just writing this makes me want to pick it up again (I got this as a library book, but later bought the paperback version at Barnes & Noble).