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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Beware of the Trains (Gervaise Fen short stories)

Beware of the Trains - Edmund Crispin

I've read a couple of Gervaise Fen full length novels and enjoyed them quite a bit, but I think I might like the short stories even better.


That wonderful, dry English humor: check!

Well plotted mysteries: check!

Fair play plotting: check! (although as Crispin cites in his foreword, 4 of them require a bit of specialised knowledge that result in them not really being fair-play)


While the book is touted as a collection of Fen short stories, a few at the back did not involve Fen at all.  One of these, The Evidence for the Crown, might have been my favorite simply because Crispin led me so elegantly through the story that I didn't see the obvious right in front of me.  Conversely, it was also a non-Fen story that was my least favorite.  The Golden Mean just was unsatisfying and felt incomplete.


There's just something about the style of story construction that reminds me of the Holmes short stories; Fen is no Holmes to be sure, but there's a similarity in the efficiency of the writing.  Unless you can count the bantering sass between Fen and Humbleby as character development, these stories are wholly plot driven.


I have another collection of Crispin shorts and I'm really looking forward to them.