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The Oxford Book of English Detective Stories (The Oxford Books of...)

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3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  103 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
This collection of thirty-three stories shows the scope, vigour, and enduring fascination of the detective story, as well as indicating its importance as a barometer of social attitudes and literary practices. It gathers together a wide range of stories, many unfamiliar, by writers including Julian Symons, Michael Gilbert, P.D. James, and Ruth Rendell, which are among the ...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published August 6th 1992 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1990)
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Jill Hutchinson
May 19, 2016 Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This collection of short stories is one you read over time such as at the lunch table or as a supplement to more serious works. And it is well worth it as it contains not only some of the great golden age mysteries that we know but many that we do not. The authors are all familiar to the mystery buff although there were several that I didn't know had written short stories. There was one story which was also made into a very well received film but the ending was completely different and changed t ...more
Gail
A representative collection of just what the title says. Some stories are great, others not so much. Choice, however, is a matter of taste, and the introductory material and many, many good stories make this worth the read.
J.
Aug 09, 2016 J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...At this second knock, he heard a shuffling sound inside, and presently the door was opened cautiously half an inch and a bent figure peered out...

We begin in the quirky, primitive age of steam and sea-travel, where code and convention are chiseled in granite foundations. But gaslight and fog obscure the clarity of gentlemanly resolve, and the raving madman emerges, even at the heights of Victoriana. Dickens, Poe and Wilkie Collins set their fictions within the exaggerated social extremes of
...more
Dolly
May 06, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of detective stories
I love mysteries, so what's better on a cold, rainy day than a warm fire, a purring cat, and a book of detective stories?

Featuring authors like Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, P.D. James, Reginald Hill, and many others I am not familiar with, I was pleased with this collection.

It took me a lot longer to finish this book than I expected it would, but our holiday travels, and the lure to read other books interrupted my progress. It's a long book and I fou
...more
Rachel Lundwall
May 03, 2014 Rachel Lundwall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent collection of British mysteries, mostly because its thoroughness in covering a time period starting with the Victorian era and ending somewhere in the late 20th century (1980s?). I particularly enjoyed being able to observe for myself the evolution of style and subject matter as time progressed. The editor selected wonderful stories from an astonishing range of authors. It was nice to read a collection that wasn't a repetition of other collections I've read, and this book wi ...more
Wayne
Jan 20, 2014 Wayne is currently reading it
Just to feel the solid shape and weight of this Feast in one's hand;
to foresee oneself snuggled up in a comfy lounge chair with only a cone of lamp light for illumination accompanied by the supportive mug of steamy coffee which will very probably get cold; and preferably 'bad' rainy windy weather rubbing its nose up against the windowpane
...well, BLISS is the only word that will suffice !!!!

I may start dipping into this on this bleak but humid rainless afternoon
in Sydney which is nowhere near th
...more
Rena Sherwood
Pretty poor anthology from Patricia Craig. I should've known how pretentious this was going to be just from looking at her "oh-so-serious" publicity photo. The best thing about this anthology is the cover. Many of the mysteries are difficult to follow or just damn dull. Some are clearly not the best from their authors. For example, "The Adventure of Silver Blaze" may be a favorite of Sherlock Holmes fans (of which I am one), but it contains many untruths about British horse racing in the late Vi ...more
John
Oct 05, 2013 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, 2013
A big collection of good British detectives focused on the 20th century. Not too many early works here. The only work that seem to be contemporary with Doyle is the first piece, "The Stir Outside the Cafe Royal" by Clarence Rook. Everything else is from the 1920s on. Great collection for the casual reader, but not for the academic.
Esther
Mar 19, 2009 Esther rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great selection and introduction (for me) to the genre. Lots of excellent short stories from the Victorian era and early 20th century, with gentlemenly murders involving poisoned umbrellas and antique envelope openers and more modern tales - Ruth Rendell especially needs further investigation (..groan..)
Gina Dalfonzo
Nov 15, 2013 Gina Dalfonzo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good collection on the whole, though the failure to include a Peter Wimsey story is a grievous error (and the inclusion of a cheap and annoying Wimsey knockoff called Reggie Fortune is adding insult to injury).
Eric Knibbs
Jun 04, 2008 Eric Knibbs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fine, representative collection. It is necessarily limited to short stories, though, and the English detective fiction genre has done far better with novels (Arthur Conan Doyle being an exception).
Heather
Jan 01, 2015 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll be sorry to give this one back to the library. A good source of new authors to try. Although I found myself enjoying a story and looking to see who wrote it only to find the author was someone I already read.
Jeremiah Genest
Including stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy Sayers, Margery Allingham, P.D. James, and many more this serves as a good introduction to British mystery writing.
Cindy
Apr 19, 2008 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Much preferred the older, 'classic' detective stories. A fun collection, some I hadn't read before.
Will
Aug 02, 2012 Will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book both for the scope of the stories, and their overall quality, which was high. Fun to read.
Lena
May 30, 2013 Lena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Οι καλυτερες ηταν
G K Chesterton Ο χρησμος του σκυλου
Arthur Conan Doyle Ο ασημενιος πυρσος
Antony Berkley Η εκδικηση του τυχαιου
Vega
Oct 04, 2007 Vega rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best compilation of mystery short stories ever.
Phyllis
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