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by Peter Lovesey
Crippen & Landru, October 2001
183 pages
ISBN: 1885941641

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Peter Lovesey is one of those writers with possibly too much talent. He's written the Sergent Cribb series, he created the fascinating Peter Diamond and the Bertie series. He's also a nice guy. Sheesh. And, as it turns out, he writes good short stories, and that's a real strength.

The title story is really good, a great lead in with a good twist. He dares to write a Sherlock Holmes story in "The Four Wise Men" and in "Away with the Fairies" a trip back to the past to clarify memories works very well. It's hard to find a weakness in this collection, which might be a bit surprising, since this book isn't even listed in Crippen and Landru's planned collections for this year. When did they have time to put it together?

Peter Diamond shows up here in "The Kiss of Death" as he visits New York for Christmas (I thought his first appearance in THE LAST DETECTIVE was one of the most welcome in the 90s as one of the newest cops on the scene). A very›creepy stalker story appears in this collection as well. While Lovesey has written many short stories, many of the ones in this anthology are fairly recent or new. The anthology ends with the head-scratching "Murdering Max", a very amusing, twisty story about the first 'youdunnit".

I know many readers don't tend to like short mystery fiction but if you're at all willing to try some short stories, I don't think you can go wrong here. Peter Lovesey is a fine story teller and this collection shows off his talents.

Reviewed by Andi Shechter, December 2001

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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