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Murder in the Falling Snow: Ten Classic Crime Stories (Vintage Murders)

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This is one of the shortest of these short stories (some are actually far too long-winded) and it's one where a thick blanket of snow is crucial to the solution of a murder mystery.

Austin Freeman - not a name I knew - whose 'Mr Ponting's Alibi' was long enough, like the Doyle and the Chesteton, to develop a neatly attentuated investigation by lawyer Thorndyke whose relations with the local detective, Superintendent Miller are similar to Holmes and Lestrade. All of these classic stories have their merit, but I think the seasonal theme is sometimes stretched a little too far, with one of the stories set in late October – cold though the featured lonely signal box no doubt is! Following the workings of the great mind of Sherlock Holmes is always enjoyable, and here we have The Adventure of Abbey Grange, a satisfactory case that allows Holmes to display his superiority and magnanimity, and Dr Watson his common sense and general dullness. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. Several of these stories have been published in various other anthologies and I had certainly read some of them before.Some of the stories are a little obscure, but I really enjoyed The Chopham Affair, The Adventure of the Abbey Grange and The Mystery of Felwyn Tunnel. The Chesterton was a bit boring and since most of the action was set in South America, seemed a weird inclusion. By today's standards these stories are quaint but may be worth a read if you are interested in early detective fiction.

A pretty ragtag selection, all told, with only Conan Doyle’s ‘The Adventure of the Abbey Grange’ and Edgar Wallace’s sneakily structured ‘The Clapham Affair’ truly standing out. The Adventure of Abbey Grange' by Conan Doyle - Sherlock Holmes chooses to play judge and jury, after his detective work is done .So bundle up, grab a glass of mulled wine, and get ready to be puzzled, astonished and entertained by these festive stories of murder and mayhem. What you do get though is ten early to mid-twentieth century, male centric murder tales with a tenuous link to winter. But for shivers down the spine, the opener Haunted House by Gladys Mitchell is well worth reading by candlelight before turning in on Christmas Eve.

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