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Mammoth Book of Historical Detectives (Mammoth Books) [Paperback]

Michael Ashley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

11 July 1995 Mammoth Books
Stories from all over the world and all historical periods including Brother Cadfael, Brother Athelstan, Decius Metellus, Sister Frevisse as well as some newcomers including detective Hans Christian Anderson's first case.

Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson Publishing; 1st Paperback Edition edition (11 July 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854874063
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854874061
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 505,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful stuff 3 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just the book to banish the midwinter blues - and any other blues come to that. Nice, bite-size tales some better than others, only to be expected in such a compendium, but all very readable and enjoyable.
Would recommend to anyone who likes 'reading anything'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars historical detectives 5 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this book was in a good condition and was a very good price. it was an interesting read about historical detectives
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I hope that Ashley continues with his historical mystery collections 26 Sep 2011
By Elizabeth A. Root - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the second in Mike Ashley's series of wide-ranging historical detective stories. The reader should be aware that in addition to these, he also has anthologies keyed to particular eras, such as the classical world. What an amazing breadth of knowledge about the mystery field he must have!

I particularly like Ashley, not only for the quality, but also the variety of stories that he includes. Some of these stories appear here for the first time, but he also includes stories that were popular decades ago. Doubly historic, one might say. It's a great place to discover new authors and series. He has introductions about the authors and also about the series, when the latter applies.

Below is a list of the contents for your edification. When I know that a story is in a series, I've noted that in brackets.

1. Death in the Dawntime by F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre
2. The Judgement of Daniel
3. Death Wears a Mask by Steven Saylor [Gordianus the Finder or Roma sub Rosa]
4. The King of Sacrifices by John Maddox Robberts [SPQR]
5. The Three Travellers by R. L. Stevens
6. The Case of the Murdered Senator by Wallace Nichols [Sollius, the Slave Detective]
7, A Mithraic Mystery by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer [John the Eunuch]
8. Abbey Sinister by Peter Tremayne [Sister Fidelma]
9. The Two Beggers Robert van Gulik [Judge Dee]

10, The Investigation of Things by Charles Ardai
11. The Midwife's Tale by Margaret Frazer [Sister Frevisse]
12. The Duchess and the Doll by Edith Pargeter (Ellis Peters)
13. Ordeal by Fire by Mary Monica Pulver [Father Hugh]
14. The Chapman and the Tree of Doom by Kate Seley [Roger the Chapman]

15. The Murder of Innocence by P.C. Doherty [Mary Frith: Elizabethan Secret Service: the Office of the Night
16. Cassandra's Castle by J. F. Peirce [Shakespeare detective stories
17. Man's Inherited Death by Keith Heller [Man series]
18. The Curse of the Connecticut Clock by S. S. Rafferty [Captain Jeremy Cork]
19, The Scent of Murder by Theodore Mathieson [The Great Detectives]
20. The Inn of the Black Crow by William Hope Hodgson
21. The Spirit of '76 by Lillian de la Torre [Dr. Sam: Johnson, Detector]

22. Deadly Will and Testament by Ron Burns [Harrison Hull]
23. The God of the Hills by Melville Davisson Post [Uncle Abner]
24. The Admiral's Lady by Jane Aikens
25. The Eye of Shiva by Peter MacAlan
26. The Trail of the Bells by Edward D. Hoch [Ben Snow]
27 Murdering Mr. Boodle by Amy Myers [Auguste Didier]

28 The Phantom Pistol by Jack Adrian
29. The Adventure of the Frightened Governess by Basil Copper [Solar Pons and Dr. Lyndon Parker]
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Reading 9 May 2000
By lilac11 - Published on
This was an easy book to get right into. Even though it is a collection of stories it does keep your interest. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elementary, my dear Tinglesweet 28 Dec 2005
By Jack Maybrick - Published on
It was a mistake to end this volume with a "Solar Pons" story.

The editor, Mike Ashley, imagined that he was paying homage to Sherlock Holmes, of all things, when he chose to do so, but Solar Pons and his associate, Dr. Parker, are such obvious rip-offs of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson that the inclusion of a "Solar Pons" story could hardly qualify as a tribute.

The original Conan Doyle stories have received a wide enough circulation, but there are a number of Holmes "pastiche" stories written since Conan Doyle's time - of varying quality - and the better ones would have provided more effective homage to the master than any Solar Pons story.

Nevertheless, historical detective stories are my favorite genre, and most of the other stories in this volume are quite good. The stories run much of the gamut of human history, starting from the very first story, set in about 35,000 B.C. among the ancient aborigines of (what is now) Australia. Ashley speculates in his intro that this is the earliest setting ever for any detective story, but I am fairly certain that years ago, I read one set in the Stone Age.

Included within the volume is also a Lillian de la Torre story in which none other than Dr. Samuel Johnson and James Boswell are the twin detectives - one of several such stories that she wrote over the course of her career. This one, intriguingly enough, is set at the time of the American Revolution. I was also delighted to see one of Melville Davisson Post's "Uncle Abner" stories (set in early 19th century Virginia) included - one I had not seen before.

Edward D. Hoch never disappoints, and he contributes a story set in the old West, in which a Billy the Kid doppelganger solves a mystery of identification.

Maybe most thrilling of all is the Amazon bibliography of more books in a similar vein edited by Mike Ashley and others, promising a rich treasure trove of unread like tales.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection! 14 Jan 2014
By merlin12scuba - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This anthology was one of the best I've read. The write-up on the authors before each segment was very informative and led to other books by these authors. The historical spin on the detectives blended well with the storyline and added a flavor not found in modern works. Overall a great book.
4.0 out of 5 stars AP World History Review: A good, recommended read 4 Dec 2013
By Charles Ridgeway - Published on
This mammoth book of detective stories is an intriguing read. The book is, in all, a huge compilation and variety of mystery stories. The majority of these stories involved murder or mysterious deaths, but a few stories pop up about missing people or things. The stories in this book are definitely varied. Whether by time period, detective, or overall plot. Because this is a compilation of stories there are many authors, and it is difficult to get a hold of each author's writing style in a short amount of time, as it is with any book of compilations. From reading the book, I never really found an author that I really disliked so that shows the Mike Ashley, the compiler, did a good job of choosing stories for the book. The book is as it is advertised and includes stories from as late as 35000 BCE to the 1920's. The range in locations from the Rome to China and Australia along to the America's is well arranged in the book. Although it is organized via time period, the books do seem to flow from place to place. Mike Ashley has done a great job with arranging the book and incorporating a wide variety of stories.

My experience while reading this book is good and definitely not just thrown together into a book. Ashley definitely put thought into how he wanted to arrange the stories and another great plus in the book is that at the beginning of each story there is a brief background/ history on the author and the setting which really sets you into the mind of the author. Also in the little intro paragraphs are other novels or works by the author so you can check out other books if you like it. Ashley also legitimizes the many authors information about the time period here, allowing for you to feel more entrusting of the author. Overall this book is what it looks to be; a lot of detective stories. Of course not all of them may be liked but there is definitely a variety. If you are looking for an easy read that doesn't make you think, this is not the book for you. But if you are looking for a slightly tedious, but rewarding read, Historical Detectives is a good option.
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