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VINE VOICEon 25 July 2011
Phillip Pullman has chosen some excellent short stories for this attractively packaged collection. Designed with older children, teenagers and young adults in mind - obvious only in two puzzle sections and possibly the choice of an extract from 'Emil and the Detectives' - this book would appeal to anyone who enjoys crime and mystery stories.

Some old favourites appear. Whilst some, such as Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Speckled Band', will doubtless be familiar to most readers, others probably won't be. Many of the biggest names of mystery fiction are covered: Agatha Christie (with a Poirot story, 'The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb'), Dashiell Hammett (Sam Spade's most conventional detective story, 'They Can Only Hang You Once') and Dorothy L. Sayers (in fine form with 'The Inspiration of Mr Budd'). There are also stories of crisp deduction from Ellery Queen, roguish adventure from Leslie Charteris and the Saint, and intuition and lateral thinking from Isaac Asimov.

Pullman doesn't confine himself to the usual suspects, however, and there is also an Italian folktale and part of a memoir of a fingerprint expert recalling an unusual request. My personal favourite is 'Butch Minds the Baby', a beautifully deadpan tale of New York criminals.

Well worth buying for any teenagers you know who might be interested - or simply reading yourself.

Note this volume is sometimes also listed as `Whodunnit? Detective Stories' (with two'n's) and was previously called simply `Detective Stories'.
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on 3 May 2009
The book is good. Im 13 and i like the short stories. Dont be fooled by the phillip pullman on the front. They are only chosen by him! Most are well known classics but some of them you work out youreslf. Afterall it's just a book!
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on 6 May 2014
Philip Pullman is a writer of extraordinary talent, and so I’d be willing to take his judgement in most matters of art and literature. Here, he reveals sixteen of his favourite detective stories, featuring some of the greatest sleuths of all-time including Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and Sam Spade.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first picked this up, but I quickly settled in – in fact, the first story in the collection is The Speckled Band, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s best Sherlock Holmes short stories. That was followed by They Can Only Hang You Once by Dashiell Hammett and The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb by Agatha Christie, both of which are fantastic short stories which will leave you begging for more.

One of the more intriguing short stories in the collection is a non-fiction piece by Tony Fletcher – ever heard of him? I don’t blame you if you haven’t – he’s an ex-copper, who wrote about his experience on the force in Memories of Murder. This particular piece recounts the story of an ex-colleague, a veteran of the force, who was called in to fingerprint a ghost – whether you believe in the supernatural or not (I don’t), it makes for interesting reading.

And that’s not all – other authors to contribute to the collection include Dorothy L. Sayers, Isaac Asimov, Raymond Smullyan, Michael Underwood and Leslie Charteris. Even if you’re not a fan of the traditional detective story, this is well worth a read – who knows? You might even get hooked!
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on 9 October 2012
The book is fine but my Year 6 class didn't find the selected stories very easy to follow. I won't be using it with Year 6 in the future.
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on 25 February 2012
I was given this as a Christmas present and wasn't sure what to expect - I'm not usually a detective stories person. But it contains the best works from different authors, it got me addicted to Sherlock Holmes books and it's great for pretty much anyone.
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on 27 February 2012
I have used this book to support teaching writing short stories, it has encouraged lots of different types of learners to take part and become excited about story telling!

I bought it alongside som other short story books on Amazon and they have all been brilliant.
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on 17 February 2014
Lots of good short stories all in the one place. I liked most of them and the great think about a book of short stories is that if one doesn't tickle your fancy you can just skip to the next,
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