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Six Against the Yard

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  163 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Is the ‘perfect murder’ possible? Can that crime be committed with such consummate care, with such exacting skill, that it is unsolvable – even to the most astute investigator?

In this unique collection, legendary crime writers Margery Allingham, Anthony Berkeley, Freeman Wills Crofts, Ronald Knox, Dorothy L. Sayers and Russell Thorndike each attempt to create the unsolvabl

Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 14th 2014 by HarperCollins (first published 1937)
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3.33  · 
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 ·  163 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Vikas Singh
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Members of the Detection Club Margery Allingham, Anthony Berkeley, Freeman Willis Croft, Father Knox, Dorothy L. Sayers and Russell Thorndike, write a short story each illustrating a perfect murder. Each story is then followed by a superb account by Ex-Superintendent Cornish, CID detailing how the seemingly perfect murder could have been solved. First published in 1936, the 2014 edition has an article by Agatha Christie on the infamous Croydon case
Fiona MacDonald
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
Extremely interesting and thought provoking! 'Six against the Yard' takes six of the most well loved crime writers of the day and challenges each of them to write a 'perfect crime story.' This is then analysed by a real, retired detective who informs us whether or not the ideas are credible enough to be believed in real life.
A couple of the stories were excellent and the others were good. I won't spoil it but clearly it is more difficult to execute (pardon the pun) a real life perfect crime tha
The Detection Club is a real life association of British crime writers which formed in 1930 and continues to this day. The writers met socially, shared ideas and knowledge, and collaborated on stories that they were working on. The members agreed to adhere to a code which would give their readers a reasonable chance to figure out ‘whodunit’:
“Do you promise that your detectives shall well and truly detect the crimes presented to them using those wits which it may please you to bestow upon them an
I got this book mostly for the Dorothy L. Sayers story, of course, but I was interested in the premise, too. Six master mystery writers, including Margery Allingham and Dorothy Sayers, took it upon themselves to write a short story each in which someone committed the perfect murder. And then, in response, an ex-Superintendent of the CID explained the ways he thought that perfect crime could be picked apart.

Cornish didn't seem to think any of the six would really 'pass', for various reasons, but
Emilia Barnes
Okay, so this is a four-star read for me, but it won't be for everyone. For me, the concept alone is breathtaking. So here we have six Golden Age crime writers (Margery Allingham and Dorothy L. Sayers being the most prominent ones represented) constructing short story "perfect murders", each followed up by an analysis by a real life Scotland Yard Chief Inspector, who takes these great minds down a peg and explains how the Yard would have got to the bottom of the mystery.

Here's the thing: are all
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Six famous crime writers set out to commit the perfect murder and a former Scotland Yard detective - in real life - comments on whether he thinks the murders were incapable of detection. I must admit to being as interested in the detectives comments as I was in the stories themselves as they were well written and show how much emphasis the police pay to small details which could well be overlooked by ordinary people and crime writers alike.

I thought the murders described were really gruesome an
Dec 07, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a real dog's breakfast.
I really like the "old" mystery writers - they're what I grew up on. So the stories here were of a familiar type and I had read some of the authors.
HOWEVER, especially the second story, the OCR program used (I'm presuming) garbles the text so badly that, especially at the beginning of the story, there were whole passages which were incomprehensible. They sounded as if they'd been written by the translation program FaceBook uses (just try that one sometime!).
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting premise. Six mystery writers, at the top of their game, write about the 'perfect murder'. A retired superintendant of Scotland Yard then comments on whether the murder is, indeed, perfect, or whether the police would solve it.

I mainly picked this up because two of the stories were written by Allingham and Sayers - and those were the two I enjoyed the most. Of the remaining four stories, one was marred by the odd line appearing to be missing, two I disliked intensely, and one was
Laura Verret
So, the tagline for this book is ‘Who Better to Commit the Perfect Murders than the World’s Greatest Mystery Writers?’ but from the description on the back, I couldn’t tell if these stories were written by the ‘world’s greatest mystery writers’, or were about them. I bought it anyway. Turns out they were by. ; )

The idea behind this book was for six great detective writers – Margery Allingham, Anthony Berkeley, Freeman Wills Crofts, Father Ronald Knox, Dorothy Sayers, and Russell Thorndike – to w
Robin Stevens
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Six short, sharp and brilliantly twisty 'perfect murders' from 1930s greats. If I could travel to any part of time, and do anything, I think I'd like to be part of the original Detective Club. Just think of all the interesting murder conversations we could have had . . .
This is an intriguing anthology of murder-mystery short stories by six golden age authors (including Allingham, Berkeley and Sayers) who have been set the task of creating ‘the perfect’ (unsolvable) murder. I enjoyed the short stories themselves, very much; but the analysis of each of the ‘crimes’ by a CID murder expert, despite sounding like an excellent idea, proved rather dull. The addition of a brief essay by Agatha Christie, regarding the actual unsolved 1928-29 murders known as the Croydon ...more
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
A mixed bag of short stories with one I really enjoyed (Blood Sacrifice), one I thought awful (Strange Death of Major Scallion - disgusting), and the others ranging from 2/5 to 4/5.

It took me a little while to get through the collection, with the stories I didn't enjoy so much slowing me down along with the ex-detective's narration proving a better idea in theory than in execution. These sections sometimes highlighted a different, interesting viewpoint - a little like when you discuss a book wi
This was a very interesting read - six celebrated mystery writers planning the perfect murders so as to be unsolvable and retired Scotland Yard Superintendent Cornish of the CID providing critiques. There are more volumes by The Detection Club and I plan on reading them if I can hunt them down.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting to read. Every time I thought 'now THIS is the perfect murder', the commentary by the policeman proved me wrong.
Marcia Drane
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Nice selection of short stories by classic mystery writers of the period.
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting concept and insightful stories as well as analyses!
Jules Goud
Wow. It's been a while since I've done this...

Anyways, I was quite impressed with "Six Against the Yard". There was really one story that I didn't enjoy.

I found the idea so fascinating. Six authors vs an ex-superintendent of the Scotland Yard.

The idea of a perfect murder is one that has been around for a while. And the question is, is there ever a perfect murder? Did any of these authors do it? Well, my friends, you will have to read the book to find out!

I personally believe that there is no s
Marc Diepstraten
A bit disappointing actually. A total of 6 short stories: Perfect Murders which after conclusion are dissected by a policeman of the Yard. Most of these stories are quite good. The trouble I'm having with it is the second part in which the murders are supposedly solved. Leaps and bounds are taken with snippets of information used in the story, which would never be known to the police to prove it actually isn't a perfect murder. For certain stories it goes to extremes in such a way it becomes irr ...more
Six short murder stories (not actually mysteries, in most cases, as almost all are narrated by the murderer), each supposed to be "the perfect murder", by famous mystery authors of the first half of the 20th century, and then a retired Scotland Yard detective weighs in and tells you why they aren't perfect. The stories range between mildly entertaining and extremely well-done (not surprisingly, the Dorothy Sayers entry is the best, although I've read it elsewhere), but I find the police commenta ...more
Elwood D Pennypacker
I just read this under it's alternate name Six Against Scotland Yard in a 1937 edition by the Sun Dial Press which I picked up for two sawbucks at the Mystery Bookshop in Gotham City. The hook with this book is that six hams each try to cook up a perfect murder only to be assessed by one Ex-Superintendent Cornish of the Yard's CID. They all have their charms but there is one pearl in this oyster - Anthony Berkeley's rap about an American grifter in the Jolly Old puttin' one over on a dame of sim ...more
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I discovered this book of short stories after enjoying several mysteries by Freeman Wills Crofts. He is one of several classic mystery writers whose stories of "perfect" murders fill this book. I was pleased to see Dorothy Sayers as one of the other authors. After each story a real life retired Scotland Yard Superintendent describes how the mystery might be solved. Most of the stores are good entertainment and each after word on ways they might be solved adds a lot to the collection.
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
An interesting idea hampered by the solutions proposed and by the fact that the perfect crimes are more psychological in nature than they should be, still the stories are good in themselves and it is interesting to see how police work was actually done.
Iona Brooke
Feb 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While the concept (that each author's "perfect murder" was evaluated by a member of Scotland Yard) was intriguing, all of the stories were mediocre and the characters irritating. Despite this, I did enjoy Agatha Christie's essay at the end, almost making it worth finishing.
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lil antiquated by now, but it was still lovely to read these short stories by masterful authors. The commentaries by Scotland Yard provided a useful perspective! but I didn't think they added much to my enjoyment of these short mysteries.
Steven Heywood
This book disappointed me immensely. The short stories by themselves are fine, though not spectacularly so. The "solutions" offered by the Scotland Yard expert are ineffably complacent and profoundly irritating.
Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some stories were better than others but still a good read, something different.
whilst the short stories themselves are fine the way the Detective proves them not a perfect crime often extends beyond creditable argument.
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimethriller
Six stories of the perfect murder as told by six members of the detective club. The stories are good, the solving is a bit of a stretch.
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Sorely disappointed. Other than the Dorothy L. Sayers piece each story was a serious struggle to get through, and the conclusions unrewarding as well. Boo.
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The shorts stories were great depictions of impeccable writing.
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Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in t