I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
This is what I imagine a bibliography in narrative form would look like. I don't know how else to describe it. I'd go so far as to say that there's no actual 'story', as the title implies, because there doesn't seem to be a cohesive ... point (message/timeline/etc.) between chapters. Each chapter represents some facet that Golden Age Crime books took on: locked-room mystery, country-house mystery, political mystery, etc. and begins with the narrative bibliography of notable works. This is followed up with 2-4 longer essays, each giving closer attention to books that the author believes best represents that facet.
None of that is to say that it wasn't excellent - it was. But this is a book for the serious mystery lover, not a reader with a casual curiosity about the evolution of crime writing. Or anyone trying to curb their TBR piles. I have so many new (old) books and authors to start hunting down it's overwhelming. I might actually have to resort to a spreadsheet; I hate spreadsheets, but there's just too many appealing treasures here and Edwards sells them up, even when he's trying not to.
I deducted a star because I found some of the writing sort of clunky (this is a cultural thing, I'm sure) but mostly because the chapter openings were just too crammed full of goodness; at times there could be as many as three titles and authors mentioned in a single sentence, with more immediately following. It got to be too much at times and I'd catch myself just glazing over, without really taking in what I was reading.
This is definitely going to be a life-long source of reference for me, as well as a source of income for the used book sellers.