Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Twelve Red Herrings” as Want to Read:
Twelve Red Herrings
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Twelve Red Herrings

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  7,750 ratings  ·  267 reviews
Jeffrey Archer, the internationally bestselling author of Honor Among Thieves, As The Crow Flies, and Kane & Abel, now serves up this inventive new collection of a dozen short stories -- with a twist. Cleverly styled, with richly drawn characters and ingeniously plotted story lines, each of the twelve pieces ends with a delightfully unexpected turn of events.

An imprisoned
Paperback, 370 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published November 28th 1994)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Twelve Red Herrings, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Twelve Red Herrings

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,750 ratings  ·  267 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Twelve Red Herrings
Sumit RK
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Jeffrey Archer is a master storyteller...Especially when it comes to short stories.
Alex Cantone
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
This book I flicked through while staying at a holiday cottage in NSW and finally tracked down. Not a great fan of short-stories, Jeffrey Archer's Twelve Red Herrings started promisingly with the 83 page "Trial and Error". Each story was quirky but I quickly realised they all had the SAME theme: money and/or wealthy people. After 7 stories I tossed it. Yawn!!!!
Benjamin Thomas
The term "Master Storyteller" is perhaps overused but in this case, Jeffrey Archer earns the moniker. Each of these stories I read between other people's novels, in order to space them out. It is a testament to the quality of these stories that I found myself wanting to get past the particular novel I was reading so I could get to the next Archer short story. Some of these stories have twists and some have irony, but they all have that exceptional phrasing that I have come to expect from Mr. Arc ...more
Kritika Swarup
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You open a story and cannot put the book down till you are done with it. There you meet the ending which just keeps it's promise. You wonder if Jeffrey Archer can handle romance in short stories as well as he manages the thrill. There as you reach the last story, you are presented with a piece precisely written to answer that question you ask.

There is a beautiful start to a romantic flick and just at the point where you start judging it, it challenges you with alternate endings. You read all the
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Awesome short story collection recommended by a co-worker. I enjoyed it so much I went to my closest used book store and bought all the short story books they had by Jeffrey Archer! Highly recommended, especially to those who enjoy mysteries but need or want something short, but still cohesive and well written...
Hitessh Panchal
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
12 Fabulous stories , that would keep your mind ticking !!!

Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
12 Red Herrings was required reading for university so I might be a bit biased in my lack of enjoyment. Definitely not my favorite, but it is great for learning vocabulary and idioms at an advanced English level.

Trial and Error
This one was way too long for a short story. Interesting and well-thought-out, but ultimately, not that enjoyable nor entertaining.

Cheap At Half the Price
This one was way shorter, and way more enjoyable. I enjoyed the witty voice of the narrator and the description of the
Mark Soone
Oct 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
My rating is 4.2. I love jeffrey Archer! Alongside of roald dahl he is IMHo the master of the short story. there are some very good gems in here!

1 Trial and error- 5 stars- Simply a brilliant tale of murder, deception, betrayal and more. Archer remains the master of the short story.

2- Cheap at half the price- 4 stars- A delightful deception...some folks have all the luck

3- Dougie mortimor's right arm- 3 stars- The Herring is quite as tasty in this story as the previous 2. Still a decent light re
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
"Twelve Red Herrings" is a collection of short stories by Jeffrey Archer. Nine of which are based in known events to the author (admittedly heavily embellished) and the other three original ideas.

Each tale puts one of its characters under a pressure situation to see how they could react and what choice they might make. Like the different directions that his characters go Archer has put into each of his tales a "red herring" designed to lead the reader down a particular path only to later on spr
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-bookshelf
Red herring means a clue or piece of information which is or is intended to be misleading or distracting, which is totally apt for the title of the book. Archer uses this in his writing, leaving the readers wanting for more.

This is a collection of 12 short stories written in strong clean prose, each story having a sudden twist and surprise ending. Some of the stories are really hilarious while some keep you on the edge of your seat!

My favorites are Shoeshine Boy, Never Stop on the Motorway, Do n
May 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: started
Like a lot of German thinkers and Brits, he fakes knowledge of human nature by describing detailed mechanical evidence.
Mark Berezin
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Every story as good as the last!
Obalola Ibrahim
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Razvan Banciu
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jeffrey Archer is one of my favourite writers and it make wonder how under-rated he seems to be in terms of popularity and reverence, as the minimal number of trivia questions regarding his works speaks.
There is a difference between his novels (some of them over one thousand pages...) and this collection of short stories. The first ones are based on superbly-constructed characters, the second on clues and some moral, very similar to O. Henry's technique.
Some of them are gorgeus, especially " S
Jun 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Amazing short stories!!! I used to love the Jeffrey archer Novels but now I am great short story fan of his too :-)

Must reads are "
* Do Not Pass Go
* Shoeshine Boy
* You'll Never Live to Regret It
* Never Stop on the Motorway
* An Eye for an Eye
* One Man's Meat"

* Do Not Pass Go

This is the first story I read and it is full of drama and action I would say. Thrilling one...

* Shoeshine Boy

Nice and funny one. Makes you giggle!

* You'll Never Live to Regret It
Full of twists and turns and keeps you
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is kind of special to me. Once upon a Time when I was in my 11th grade(intermediate), my English Lecturer narrated one of the short stories(Never stop on motorway). The story was so clear in my mind but I never knew the author name for the book name. This is also back when reading was not a hobby of mine(actually I haven't read a single book fiction or nonfiction that is out of my course curriculum). Karunakaran sir(my English lecturer) used to say that we should read novels or books t ...more
J.L. Campbell
May 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Twelve Red Herrings contained a good mixture of stories. Some took me a while to get through, but I'm such a fan that if Jeffery Archer wrote the ingredients of bread on a bag, I'd read it.

Some of the stories were high tension and others were like a Sunday morning stroll. And then there was the final story, One Man’s Meat. Only Archer could pull of telling a story with four possible endings. Of course, being an Archerholic I had to read all four, though he invited the reader to ‘select one and
Sasha Sardar
May 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Twelve Red Herrings is exactly as the title says. A red herring is a false trail, bait that is meant to be taken, leading to the wrong conclusion. Jeffry Archer is a master with this style, and wrote twelve short stories, each with a red herring dropped somewhere in it. The book boasts differentiating plots, and is a careful collection of stories that deal with humorous and farcical realities. They are all rather interesting in their own way, but they all seem to share a link which doesn’t exist ...more
Ajisha Mohan
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jeffrey-archer
Though I've thoroughly enjoyed every one of Jeffrey Archer's books I've read so far, it never crossed my mind to pick up one of his short-story collections. After reading this one, I realised what I'd missed. What is really admirable about his writing style is that he can connect with any generation pretty well. I personally found it difficult to believe that Kane and Abel and False Impression were penned by the same author. Even in this collection each story is different from the other and ther ...more
Dec 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the majority of these stories; there were only one or two that I didn't like much. They're all a nice length - enough to develop the plot sufficiently but short enough to read in one sitting. They kept me entertained and the twists at the end were good too. In all a good read.
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stories, fiction
1997 Oct 02
2005 Jan 01

Archer takes some urban legends, which he appears to believe are true, and turns them into stories crafted by a skilled writer. They come out much better that way.
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed Jeffery Archer's previous ones:)) it's a page turner;)
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Witty book with lots of short stories that are unique on their own.
Monica (crazy_4_books)
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews, 4-stars
I read this one a while back, so I don't have it fresh in mind. I know I loved the stories, the unexpected endings, amazing stories. Fast read
Jul 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this one a couple of years ago, when the author was in town. I quite enjoyed this book, but expected more of a connection between all the tales than was present. Only one character is repeated in two stories, all the others are disparate. The central conceit for all of them is the 'red herring' and some of the stories are more obvious than others in their deception and cleverness.

"Trial and Error"
Undoubtedly the best of the lot; it's a pity it was placed in the beginning of the book, as
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If I could I'd give it 2.5 stars as some of the short stories were quite good, but some of the others really weren't.

When I picked this book up at the book exchange at work I hadn't quite realized how old it was, but the first story put me straight on that really quickly! For the most part it wasn't an issue as it just meant I had to keep in mind there weren't things like cell phones, but there were some gender stereotypes which crept in from time to time.

I do need to say that the stories were a
Lou Grimm
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a craftsman is Jeffrey Archer!

Twelve Red Herrings is exactly what it says: a dozen short stories of being led down a path and then - forget the curve ball - you're thrown to somewhere unexpected. Every time. How does he do it?!

Well, first he hooks you from the opening lines:
"Arnold Bacon would have made a fortune if he hadn't taken his father's advice."
"And so it was agreed: David would leave everything to Pat."
"Sir Matthew Roberts QC closed the file and placed it on the desk in front of
Gaurav Singh
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
All twelve stories had a red herring dropped somewhere in the middle of the story and yet you have to read all the way till the end to get the conclusion.
Now that's how i define Jeffrey Archer's creativity.

Few stories are quite "high tension" and a few are like "Sunday stroll" and that's why i ended up
finishing this book on Sunday morning. :)

Among the novels, which Jeffrey has written till date. 12 Red Herring tastes more fascinating.
Fascinating because it has short stories whereby he has expli
Srijoni Nandy
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don't have a soulful quote to share from this book because that's not what Jeffrey Archer's books are about. Reading short stories of Jeffrey Archer is a whole new and different experience in itself. His clever writing style never stops amazing me. Twelve Red Herrings was no less than a delightful journey and lived up to my expectations.

Red herring is an expression which essentially means a misleading or distracting piece of information. That's exactly what happens in each of the twelve stori
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Eleven short stories plus a novella of 83 pages. From the title, one might reasonably assume that all the stories would be mysteries with a certain level of misdirection. The concept of a mystery might just apply to the beginning novella ("Trial and Error"), but it is not at all a satisfying one due to the awkward length: it should either have been pared down to essentials and had a much more believable premise, OR, it should have been expanded into a full-length novel where the deceptive premis ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Kindle English My...: Amazon Daily Deal - Jeffrey Archer - Twelve Red Herrings 1 7 Jan 13, 2017 01:10AM  
What are the twelve red herrings in this book? 5 44 Nov 02, 2014 03:08PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Twelve Red Herrings - New Edition 1 15 Feb 02, 2014 11:11AM  
twelve red herrings 2 38 Sep 29, 2011 01:03AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Scorpion Trail
  • A Dog's Life
  • Java Spider
  • Shadow Hunter
  • The Whispering Land
  • The Lucifer Network (Sam Packer, #2)
  • Jeffrey Archer Presents: New Wife
  • The Hostage (Jon Roscoe Thriller, #1)
  • The Satan Bug
  • Friends in Small Places: Ruskin Bond's Unforgettable People
  • Under the Banyan Tree and Other Stories
  • Времеубежище
  • Educating Rita
  • Malgudi Adventures. Classic Tales For Children
  • The World of Hrishikesh Mukherjee: The Filmmaker Everyone Loves
  • The India I Love
  • The Stranger's Wife
  • Malgudi Days
See similar books…
Jeffrey Howard Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare (born 15 April 1940) is an English author and former politician.

He was a Member of Parliament and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, and became a life peer in 1992. His political career, having suffered several controversies, ended after a conviction for perverting the course of justice and his subsequent imprisonment. He is married

Related Articles

Girls who save the world, sweeping dystopias, contemporary love stories, and high fantasy are all staples of the current young adult book landsca...
8 likes · 2 comments
“Naturally, some of the passengers begin to panic. Several of them leap out into the dimly lit tunnel.” 1 likes
“Women are naturally superior to men, and Mrs Consuela Rosenheim was no exception.” 0 likes
More quotes…