Mike Ashley has compiled 23 stories from around the world and from a large time-frame. This collection is an ideal literary "buffet" that is certainly more than just "food for thought"!
Beginning with the Ancient World, Ashley takes an excerpt from Herodotus (the "Father of History" and his "History of the Persian War"); it follows a 20th century account of ancient Egypt by Elizabeth Peters! In the second section,he features a treasured collection of medieval stories (Ellis Peters, Paul Harding, to name two).
Part III is the "Regency and Gaslight" section--with a real thriller by John Dickson Carr, among the others. The final section is "Holmes and Beyond," featuring a little-known but exciting nonetheless story by Arthur Conan Doyle titled "The Case of the Deptford Horror."
What is the most exciting thing about this anthology is that it represents a terrific "gathering" of literary "wizards" and their "whodunits." All are short stories (and naturally short stories cannot really be compared to novels, as the objectives, the vehicles, the whole purpose is entirely different), but what a whallop they pack.
In addition, Ashley gives us an informative (and readable) introduction, with a foreward by Ellis Peters, also not to be missed.
This is a proud collection, a nice addition to one's personal mystery library!