WINTER'S CRIMES 11 by George--Ed. Hardinge


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It's by now clearly no coincidence that this annual British anthology improves whenever Hardinge takes over as editor from Hilary Watson. This new ten-some hardly approaches the glories of Crimes 9, but it's several cuts above Watson's 8 and 10. The stand-outs here are stylish reworkings rather than groundbreakers: Simon Brett's petit-guignol study of creeping psychosis (a mild, retired workman with a growing fear of drafts. . . and a sweetly meddlesome social worker); Jonathan Gash's tale of a coin-collector's lethal lust for rarities--and the gruesome revenge of one of his victims; and Michael Levey's first-person narrative by a rookie copper on his first big case--a case with an old but beautifully-handled twist. Equally engaging but finally less satisfying: Julian Symons' glossy re-exploration of the perfect crime (""The Flaw"" is too familiar); Ivor Drummond's murder among pukka-sahib fishing cronies. And the remainder ranges from sturdily routine (Anthony Lejeune's London blackmail tale, another of Ellis Peters' medieval diversions, Anthony Price's ancient-Britain military strategies) to second-raters by Gwendoline Butler and Sarah Gainham. Far from stellar--but a perfectly respectable batch from the British-detection source.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1979
Publisher: St. Martin's