Only the Crime Writers Association, with its ties to the long tradition of ironic British understatement, would ever have sponsored an entire anthology of perfect-crime stories. With few exceptions (John Malcolm, Andrew Taylor, Keith Wright), the formula practically guarantees a comic or sardonic tone that can quickly pall. The main variety is provided by the split between unexpected strokes of justice (Catherine Aird, Matt Coward, Reginald Hill, H.R.F. Keating, Peter Lovesey)—most of them not all that unexpected—and generally more ingenious crimes without punishment (Kate Charles, Lindsey Davis, Eileen Dewhurst, Gîsta Gillberg, Lesley Grant-Adamson, Peter Lewis, Val McDermid, Susan Moody, Ian Rankin, Tony Wilmot, editor Edwards). Whatever you do, though, don't read all 19 stories at a sitting. They might give you ideas.
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