24 October 2010

Review: THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST BRITISH CRIME 2010, edited by Maxim Jakubowski

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 839 KB
  • Print Length: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (April 29, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services

Product Description

The must-have annual anthology for every crime fiction fan - the year's top new British short stories selected by leading crime critic Maxim Jakubowski.This great annual covers the full range of mystery fiction, from noir and hardboiled crime to ingenious puzzles and amateur sleuthing. Packed with top names like Colin Dexter, Christopher Fowler, Alexander McCall Smith, Robert Barnard, Peter James, Natasha Cooper, Sophie Hannah, and many more.


This looks like a who's who of  British crime fiction - a real treat. I have read full books by most of these authors, and for the most part enjoyed re-acquaintance through these tasters.


I've included a full list of the 38 stories at the bottom of the page.
From my point of view the ones I enjoyed most were
  • finding out why Morse didn't get his degree: MR E. MORSE, BA OXON (FAILED),Colin Dexter
  • an Australian one: THE BLOOD PEARL, Barry Maitland
  • THE RAT IN THE ATTIC BY Brian McGilloway was quite clever
  • A BLOW ON THE HEAD by Peter Lovesey was up to expectations, as was
  • WALKING THE DOG by Peter Robinson
  • ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE, Alexander McCall Smith
  • 12 BOLINBROKE AVENUE, Peter James
  • FUNERAL WEATHER, Kate Ellis
I didn't much enjoy ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT ALREADY by Tony Black although it did have an unexpected ending which redeemed it a little. I struggled with HOGMANAY HOMICIDE by Edward Marston both in terms of length (it made me impatient for it to finish) and because I don't think it would have had any context for me if I hadn't read Martin Edwards' DANCING FOR THE HANGMAN earlier this year.

Overall, there was the usual problem you have with a collection of short stories: some are excellent, while others just didn't seem worthy of the space.  It is quite a long book.

My rating: 4.3
List of stories
MR E. MORSE, BA OXON (FAILED),Colin Dexter
GHOSTS,John Harvey
THE BLOOD PEARL, Barry Maitland
THE COMMON ENEMY, Natasha Cooper
BLOODSPORT, Tom Cain
THE RAT IN THE ATTIC, Brian McGilloway
ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT ALREADY, Tony Black
HOGMANAY HOMICIDE, Edward Marston
FRUITS, Steve Mosby
A PLACE FOR VIOLENCE, Kevin Wignall
FOUR HUNDRED RABBITS,Simon Levack
HISTORY!,Toby Litt
THE MASQUERADE,Sarah Rayne
TAKE DEATH EASY, Peter Turnbull
THE PARSON AND THE HIGHWAYMAN, Judith Cutler
SPECIAL DELIVERY, Adrian Magson
A BLOW ON THE HEAD, Peter Lovesey
CHICAGO, Jon Courtenay Grimwood
THE HOUSE THAT GOT SHOT, Barbara Nadel
THE OCTOPUS NEST, Sophie Hannah
WALKING THE DOG, Peter Robinson
THE VELOCITY OF BLAME, Christopher Fowler
SOMEONE TAKE THESE DREAMS AWAY, Marc Werner
ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE, Alexander McCall Smith
12 BOLINBROKE AVENUE, Peter James
APPETITE FOR MURDER, Simon R. Green
THE OTHER HALF, Mick Herron
SWORD LILIES, Sally Spedding
LOVE HURTS, Bill Kirton
FUNERAL WEATHER, Kate Ellis
A YEAR TO REMEMBER, Robert Barnard
TIME OF THE GREEN,Ken Bruen
VIVISECTION, Bernie Crosthwaite
STAR’S JAR, Kate Horsley
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A VICTIMLESS CRIME, Paul Johnston
AND HERE’S THE NEXT CLUE . . ., Amy Myers
FRECKLES, Allan Guthrie
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, Val McDermid

3 comments:

Bernadette in Australia said...

Thanks for these thoughts Kerrie.

I don't read a lot of short stories - it's not a format I enjoy. I like to get into stories and characters in a way that I can't seem to do with this format. However I have bought a couple of anthologies for the eReader and one in audio format recently - though I am dipping in and out rather than reading all at once as you've done.

Kerrie said...

I like to get them finished Bernadette, but it is probably not the best strategy.

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Thanks for this review. I generally read novels, rather than short stories, but these sound quite good. And a short story is jut the thing when you only have ten or fifteen minutes for a quick read.

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