VERDICT OF THIRTEEN by Detection Club

VERDICT OF THIRTEEN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The last anthology generated by Britain's prestigious Detection Club appeared in 1936, and this new one is almost worth the wait. Assigned the highly flexible theme of The Jury, literal or metaphorical, 13 of the Club's current members have come up with a great variety of stories--with top honors going to such stylistic opposites as P. D. James' murder-solved-in-retrospect (… la Christie) and H. R. F. Keating's absolutely marvelous tale of domestic murder and scandal among colonials in India, told entirely through the fragmented gossip of native servants. Also first-rate: Dick Francis' anecdote of a horse-betting seam and Patricia Highsmith's grisly account of forgivable murder and its residue. Solid entries too from Michael Gilbert, Celia Fremlin, Michael Underwood, and Gwendoline Butler. Ngaio Marsh's out-in-the-bush murder/adventure is slightly disappointing only because of the high expectations; likewise Michael Innes' courtroom puzzle. In fact, aside from whimsical fantasies by Christianna Brand and Peter Dickinson, the only real let-down here is an uncharming story of terrorists in Beatrix Potter masks from Julian Symons--who provides the volume with a neat introduction. Less than perfection, but a grand showing nonetheless.

Pub Date: April 11th, 1979
Publisher: Harper & Row