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The Mammoth Book of Historical Crime Fiction (Mammoth Books) Paperback – 18 Aug 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (18 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849014353
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849014359
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 3.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 408,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Ashley fills that canvas with consummate skill. (Guardian)

Book Description

From Ancient Rome through thirteenth-century Venice to 1930s' New York, twelve compelling historical crime stories.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This anthology of twelve stories spans over four thousand years of history and features stories set in the Bronze Age, 7th century Ireland, Britain in the 1600's and the run up to the Second World War, amongst others. Each novella is substantial enough in length to convey a more complete story, many similar collections feature works of a somewhat shorter length which can result in a rushed pace and an underdeveloped storyline, but here is an anthology which allows each author more time to establish the plot, the results being much more substantial stories that leave the reader satisfied with a nicely rounded story. At the start of each new work Ashley has written a brief introduction to the story and its author, which was a nice touch I thought.

Certainly the most enjoyable story in the collection is Hide and Seek, written by Tony Pollard. It's situated, fittingly, at the very centre of the book. Its 1605, the Gunpowder Plot has failed and those conspirators who evaded capture are on the run. We are introduced to Nicholas Owen, the man responsible for creating the most ingenious priest hides within the houses of recusant families during a time when Catholics were persecuted by law. Owen soon finds himself taking sanctuary at Hindlip House in a hiding place of his own making after he is tasked with keeping safe a dangerously implicating piece of evidence. The local Justice, Sir Henry Bromley, (whose incompetence is revealed in due course,) believes the conspirators to be in hiding there and sets to work England's most successful priest-hunter; Jonathan Noyce; to seek out those hidden within the walls of the house, though more is being concealed than just Catholic vestments or a master architect.
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The great thing about an anthology is the variety of plots, and the other reviews here clearly prove that one man's meat is another's poison, for I found some of those singled out for praise to be turgid and boring, whilst very much enjoying and wanting to have more stories about Anne Perry's 'Miss Brodie' and Charles Todd's Inspector Rutledge and his guilty conscience, Hamish. In this volume there are only 12 stories, each considerably longer than the usual anthology item, which gives more time for plot and character development. That's a bonus in the cases of the tales which appeal most, and a justification for skipping much of those that drag. Whichever stories you prefer, this is still an excellent selection, covering the period from the Bronze Age to the 1920s/30s.
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By J. Turner VINE VOICE on 6 Oct. 2014
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There were few good, gripping stories in this collection. Peter tremayne s was the best of a bad lot. I would not buy another anthology like this again.
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I found the short stories kept me interested. Suit those with little spare time or short attention span. Also a fine way to get to know different authors. Enjoyed the different eras.
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Interesting and well written. Not as gripping as more modern crime fiction, but that's probably not surprising. Good for cold dull afternoons or evenings!
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I like these books hoping to get more of these on kindle. It is good to see how different crimes are solved
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Brilliant collection. Obviously some better than others but useful to have a choice on occasions when I am waiting for trains etc
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Loads of short taster novellas which give the author's name, or the name they are writing under, great stories.
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