Twenty short stories celebrate the 10th anniversary of CrimeFest, Bristol’s annual convention of crime writers and readers.
Commissioned for this volume, these brand-new stories represent the mainstream of the field, submitted by many of the best-known writers of the past decade. There are locked-room puzzles: Simon Brett’s “The Last Locked Room” and Ann Cleeves’ “Moses and the Locked Tent Mystery.” Armchair detectives have their moment in Lee Child’s “Shorty and the Briefcase.” So do hit men in “Strangers in a Pub” by Martin Edwards and “Freezer Burn” by James Sallis. Psychopaths are provided by Jeffery Deaver in “Blind Date” and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir in “Road Trip.” Maj Sjöwall’s “Long Time No See” and Michael Stanley’s “The Ring” chronicle the tribulations of the down and out. Even geriatric criminals have their day in Donna Moore’s “Daylight Robbery.” Sleuths include police, like the seasoned officer in Ian Rankin’s “Inside the Box,” as well as private eyes featured in Sophie Hannah’s “Ask Tom St Clare” and John Harvey’s “Blue and Sentimental.” And in honor of CrimeFest, no less than four stories feature crime writers: Brett’s entry, Kate Ellis’ “Crime Scene,” Peter Guttridge’s “Normal Rules Do Not Apply,” and Mick Herron’s “How Many Cats Have You Killed?” Absent from the assembled company are thrillers, supernaturals, and mood pieces that offer protracted misery without any real criminal offense.
This volume is for red-meat crime fans who love murder, mayhem, and plenty of it.