After watching Mr Connolly's interview on BBC Breakfast, I had high expectations of this book. I am a fan of the classic crime fiction (Christie, Conan Doyle, Highsmith, Tey, etc,etc) and thought this book was the perfect read. I was not disappointed.
The book is full of fantastic essays. I must be honest and say I am not a fan of every single essay present in the book. I should say that there are 120 essays in this book and if your reaslistic, you expect a few that fall below the par. To be honest, the reason I am less fond of a few of these essays is because they make the assumption that the reader has already read the book being discussed (which isn't always the case). I had hoped the essays discussing the books I haven't already read would be there to entice me into reading them (and many of them do achieve this!) But those that make this assumption often given away plot details that I would rather not know prior to reading a novel. However, I think if you read with caution and can spot those types of essays quickly, you'll be fine. I am on my guard with these essays and tend to skip to another if the book is on my to read list.
The vast majority (if not all) of the essays in the book are witty, enticing, intelligent and heartfelt. Most authors are very honest and if you are a fan of any of the contributors it is worth reading.
The only issue I have with this great book is that I may be purchasing a lot more books of this fantastic genre.
If you love crime fiction of any sort, please buy this book. You won't regret it.