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English Country House Murders

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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  358 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Nothing could seem more civilized, more orderly and sedate than a weekend at one of Great Britain's country estates. Yet these staid, conservative houses play host to a wider variety of murders than do the mean streets of America's darkest cities.

Contents:
The adventure of the Abbey Grange / Sir Arthur Conan Doyle --
A marriage tragedy / Wilkie Collins --
Lord Chizelrigg's m
...more
Hardcover, 348 pages
Published April 26th 2000 by Mysterious Press (first published December 1988)
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  358 ratings  ·  50 reviews


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Hannah
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads, mysteries
An excellent compilation of 22 shorts featuring the quintessential writers of the genre. If you want a taste of what makes these authors so good at their craft, this is a nice reference book to begin with. Many of these (Ethel White, Christianna Brand and Nicholas Blake) were new to me, but after a sampling of their work, I'll be looking into longer books from them.

Personal favorites include Ethel White's The Unlocked Window (deliciously creepy), Philip MacDonald's The Wood-for-the-Trees (a gre
...more
Kirsten "Ghost Deserved Better"
A fun collection of mysteries of the English Country House variety. I knew many of the authors like Dorothy L Sayers, Ruth Rendell, PD James, etc, but many of the authors I hadn't heard of. Lots of fun.
Laurie
-The Adventure of the Abbey Grange by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 2*
-A Marriage Tragedy by Wilkie Collins, 2*: Overly long and melodramatic
-Lord Chizelrigg's Missing Fortune by Robert Barr, 3*
-The Forwich Castle Mystery by Emmuska, Baroness Orczy, 3*
-The Blue Scarab by R. Austin Freeman, 2*
-The Doom of the Darnaways by G.K. Chesteron, 4*: This was way more my style; dripping with a Gothic aesthetic, but with a wickedly humourous twist of modern dialogue (very modern really, considering this was writ
...more
Linda C
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of 22 murder mysteries draws together one of the best collections of stories representing classic authors of this genre including Agatha Christie, Wilkie Collins, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, P. G. Wodehouse, P. D. James and G. K. Chesterton. Thomas Godfrey's introduction defines the English Country House Mysteries in 14 criteria and then goes on to describe the 'rules of the house' ie the characteristics of the house, the atmosphere and the characters that give it ...more
Terri
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of some of the best classic English mystery authors (Christie, Doyle, James, Rendell, Carr, Wodehouse, Allingham) doing the typical British Country House murder settings. Very fun. Only one I didnt really enjoy - so a very satisfying collection
Susan
Like all collections of short stories, this was uneven, but the items I liked best may be the ones you liked least. Godfrey certainly collects a number of fine mystery writers in this plump volume.
Denise
Pretty good mystery short stories with a British country estate setting. I preferred some more than others. Thought it would be a good way to read new authors in this genre.
Lawrence
Nov 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very broad and interesting collection of British manor house mysteries, Edited by Thomas Godfry. A must for all lovers of the genre.
Libby
Aug 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Do enjoy short stories and these are written by some great authors, Doyle, Christie, Sayers, Collins.
Janet
Nov 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Fun! A collection of short stories by the masters of the genre. Great book to finish on Halloween. You never know what gems you might find in the inventory of a used book store, such as Bright Leaf Bookshop in Winston-Salem, NC. Not surprisingly, some of the selections are stronger than others. To my taste, I'd save the more contemporary writers (Hare, Philip MacDonald, James and Miles) for last.
Carolyn F.
I swear I read this book! It looks so familiar.
Ann
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another short story collection, but this one features the cream of the crop of mystery writers from the past and present: Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers, Margery Allingham, GK Chesterton, Wilkie Collins, Baroness Orczy, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Barr, R. Austin Freedman, John Dickinson Carr, Ruth Rendell, PD James, Michael Innes, PG Wodehouse, Nicolas Blake, Christianna Brand, Philip MacDonald, Cyril Hare, Ethel Lina White, Freeman Wills Crofts and James Miles. The stories are dif ...more
Lesley
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery




This is a wonderful anthology. In fact, I am writing this review after my second rereading. I am a fan of the older mystery writers and am using this as a way to remind myself of some authors I had frankly forgotten. So make a cup of tea, sit down by the fire and read a few stories. You'll be transported to a time when they didn't tell you in detail exactly how the corpse looked, or what happened after the romantic kiss. Not every story is perfect, but then that's the fun!
English Country House M
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Arlene
This anthology includes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, P.D. James, and other famous English mystery writers in a series of delightful stories that take place in English country houses. I liked all of the stories in the book. I especially liked the one called "Death in the Sun" which has a corpse found nude on the roof of a villa and "The Man on the Roof" where everyone in the house and the village would benefit with the death of the Duke.
This book is to be recommended to all who
...more
Joan - xstitchfan
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm generally not a short story lover - except for O. Henry that is! However, I chose this book of short stories because of it's amazing list of mystery writers. I wasn't disappointed at all! I enjoyed the editor's choices which varied in story construction and tone. There is nothing too gory for the squeamish reader. My most surprising discovery is that my least favorite story was by P. D. James who is usually a favorite author. I can't seem to decide on a favorite story. Two strong possible ch ...more
Suzanne Bordwell
A great book with short stories you can read each night before going to bed.

The Adventure of the Abbey Grange
A Marriage Tragedy
Lord Chizelrigg's Missing Fortune
The Fordwych Castle Mystery
The Blue Scarab
The Doom of the Darnaways
The Shadow on the Glass
The Queen's Square
Death on the Air
The Same to Us
The Hunt Ball
The inacutious Burglar
The Long Shot
Jeeves and the Stolen Venus
Death in the Sun
An Unloced Window
The Wood-for-the-Trees
The Man on the Roof
The Death of Amy Robsart
Fen Hall
A Very Desirable Resi
...more
TJ
Oct 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Good collection of stories. Lots of fun reading the stories, and good intro into authors you may not heard of.
Casey
Dec 25, 2009 is currently reading it
So far so good. Very enjoyable collection of short stories.
Janette
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent collection.
Amy
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As is the case with many anthologies, there is something in here to please everyone. That also means any one reader is probably not going to love everything in here. And this was certainly true for me. There were many authors I had never heard of in this anthology but I enjoyed most of them to varying degrees. I appreciated his foreword on "defining" the English Country House mystery, though I found it humorous that many of the included stories seemed to deviate from his "rules". Overall, an enj ...more
Celia Lake
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
A collection of short stories from many of the masters (and mistresses) of mystery stories, all of which qualify as English country house murder plots.

First, the introduction to this is fabulous, highlighting what the editor felt were the qualifications of a mystery in this category, and talking about variations (acceptable and otherwise...0

The stories in the collection have ups and downs for the individual reader, but getting a chance to read all of them in one place made it easy (and fascina
...more
Melissa Jacobson
Actual rating 2.75

I don't know what went wrong in this. I liked a few of the stories but I also couldn't wait to be done with this book! I was bored for about 90% of this collection and when I wasn't bored I was power reading so I could just get though the book. I honestly couldn't tell you a single thing that happened in any of these stories and I think that is a perfect example of how I felt reading this.
Andrea
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Got about 2/3 through before I got bored. I really wanted to like this collection, but it was a pretty odd assortment of stories. They were not the deep, immersive, wonderful country house murders that you find in full-length novels, but rather weird short stories involving thefts or murders that just *happened* to be at a country house. Not very satisfying. I'll stick with novels from here on out.
Sally
Nov 10, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a very entertaining collection of short stories that one should dip into rather than reading straight through. There is a nice historical range from Arthur Conan Doyle and Wilkie Collins up through Ruth Rendell and P. D. James. Some are stronger than others, and the last couple, which are more contemporary, seem sadder in a way since the whole idea of the English country house has been diminished. On the whole, though, highly recommended.
Christine
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reading these collections is like going to a party. You meet up with old friends and meet new folks. Great read.
Felicia Allen
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a really good collection of short stories. I got introduced to a lot of new authors. I liked some more than others but all in all a very well put together collection.
Dianna Thiel
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in-my-library
Love solving these mini mysteries!
Avid Series Reader
English Country House Murders, edited by Thomas Godfrey, is a collection of 22 short stories by celebrated mystery, crime and detective fiction authors.

The introduction explains 14 basic rules a mystery must follow to be classified as an authentic English Country House Mystery:

1. Must be written by an authentic English writer.
2. Must include a crime.
3. Multiple crimes may be included, gory or violent details may not.
4. Poison is the preferred murder method, or a blow to the head.
5. The crime m
...more
Alison C
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
"English Country House Murders: Classic Crime Fiction of Britain’s Upper Crust," edited by Thomas Godfrey, is just what the title suggests, an anthology of 22 mystery stories, all set in the country houses of the aristocracy in Britain, and all involving murder in one form or another. The nice thing about this anthology is the range of authors: we start with none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and read chronologically up through Ruth Rendell and P.D. James, a period spanning as much as 150 ye ...more
John Carter
This collection was compiled completely under false pretenses. After defining the country house murder—“You open the cover and suddenly you are transported to a splendid baronial manor …”; “… in the library his wife, Felicity, daughter of Sir Randolph Cross (rumoured to be next in line at the Exchequer), lies dead …”; “Is there another murder in the offing?”—the editor puts in “intimate character studies” and stories with no houses at all or only four characters, two of which have (truly) never ...more
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