2nd Culprit: A Crime Writers' Annual (British CWA, Bk 2)

by Liza Cody | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 0373152809 Global Overview for this book
Registered by HI77 of Fort Myers, Florida USA on 3/3/2021
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by HI77 from Fort Myers, Florida USA on Wednesday, March 03, 2021
A cascade of words

that's end like a knife tip
dripping slowly down.

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, April 05, 2021
The big-box-of-trade-books arrived safely today; many thanks! [It's great to be able to knock so many titles off of my wishlist!]

I'd wanted this one in part for a contribution by the gone-too-soon Sarah Caudwell, but it looks like a good and varied anthology in its own right.

Later: Turns out the Caudwell contribution was a bit of a letdown - she co-authored a crossword puzzle with mystery-author themes. And it's one of those London Times type crosswords, with wildly obscure riddles, references, and quips as clues; even with the solution at hand (provided at the end of the book) I was unable to work out how the clues led to those answers for the vast majority of entries. (Example: "Substance hidden by cop, I think." Answer: Pitch. ??? Someone more used to that style of puzzle might have better luck than I did!)

That aside, the stories here are very good indeed, with a nice variety of dark/funny/convoluted/shocking. There are atmospheric tales from the viewpoint of the victim - or the killer; poignant stories featuring all-too-real tragedies; quirky tales of vengeance; and more.

Among my favorites:

Ellis Peters' "The Frustration Dream," which begins by describing an all-too-familiar type of dream in which one is attempting to perform a task or make a trip or take a class but somehow can't find the way/find one's clothing/remember the agenda. This leads into the narrator's description of a waking "frustration dream" that's mixed up with a crime - and, perhaps, a ghost...

"The Duke" by Eric Wright is set at a remote construction camp in Canada, and deals with the camp cook's eccentricities and what happens when a new employee can't resist teasing him. [Hint: one should never, ever mess with the cook.]

"The Image of Innocence" by Madeline Duke involves an English actress who's retired to a remote Spanish village, and is quite happy - until an English couple turns up hoping to make their own holiday home at the spot next door to hers, while the wife busily stomps all over the local sensibilities. For a domestic/neighbor plot this one has lots of tension - and a satisfactory conclusion, in my view!

"Professor Kaa's Doorway" by Peter O'Donnell deals with a conflict over a groundbreaking invention - a time-portal; this one has a tantalizing setup and a neat little twist ending.

Tim Heald's "A Vacance en Campagne" unfolds in journal entries by two people - one the husband and father who's on vacation with his wife, son, and another couple and their son, and the other the son himself. The adults' views of a satisfactory vacation in the French countryside diverge quite a bit from those of the teenaged boys, who set out to have some fun of their own - with complications...

Released 1 mo ago (5/12/2021 UTC) at Little Free Library, Meadowbrook Dr. in Barrington, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in this handsome new Little Free Library while on my way to visit the Bedrock Gardens sculpture park in Lee. Hope someone enjoys the book!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2021 Keep Them Moving challenge. ***

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