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Hangman's Holiday [Mass Market Paperback]

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue June 28 2006
By bernie TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"Hangman's Holiday" is a collection of short stories. There are twelve mysteries around the twenties and thirties England in this book, each stands alone but has a common feel; they are:

"The Image in the Mirror"

"The Incredible Elopement of Lord Peter Wimsey"

"The Queen's Square"

"The Necklace of Pearls"

"The Poisoned Dow '08"

"Sleuths on the Scent"

"Murder in the Morning"

"One too Many"

"Murder at Pentecost"

"Maher-Shalal-Hashbaz"

"The Man Who Knew How"

"The Fountain Plays"

It may be my perception but the mysteries get better and more intriguing as the next one appears. Then it is over.

I will not pull them apart as the fun is listening to them unfold.

You may also want to look for the unabridged tape, as the narrator is Ian Carmichael who played Lord Peter Wimsey. He changes his voice for the different people and you can tell the difference. There is a statement that tells you when the tape side ends.
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue July 25 2010
By bernie TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"Hangman's Holiday" is a collection of short stories. There are twelve mysteries around the twenties and thirties England in this book, each stands alone but has a common feel; they are:
"The Image in the Mirror"
"The Incredible Elopement of Lord Peter Wimsey"
"The Queen's Square"
"The Necklace of Pearls"
"The Poisoned Dow '08"
"Sleuths on the Scent"
"Murder in the Morning"
"One too Many"
"Murder at Pentecost"
"Maher-Shalal-Hashbaz"
"The Man Who Knew How"
"The Fountain Plays"

It may be my perception but the mysteries get better and more intriguing as the next one appears. Then it is over.

I will not pull them apart as the fun is listening to them unfold. You may also want to look for the unabridged tape, as the narrator is Ian Carmichael who played Lord Peter Wimsey. He changes his voice for the different people and you can tell the difference. There is a statement that tells you when the tape side ends.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue June 11 2006
By bernie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Hangman's Holiday" is a collection of short stories. There are twelve mysteries around the twenties and thirties England in this book, each stands alone but has a common feel; they are:

"The Image in the Mirror"

"The Incredible Elopement of Lord Peter Wimsey"

"The Queen's Square"

"The Necklace of Pearls"

"The Poisoned Dow '08"

"Sleuths on the Scent"

"Murder in the Morning"

"One too Many"

"Murder at Pentecost"

"Maher-Shalal-Hashbaz"

"The Man Who Knew How"

"The Fountain Plays"

It may be my perception but the mysteries get better and more intriguing as the next one appears. Then it is over.

I will not pull them apart as the fun is listening to them unfold.

You may also want to look for the unabridged tape, as the narrator is Ian Carmichael who played Lord Peter Wimsey. He changes his voice for the different people and you can tell the difference. There is a statement that tells you when the tape side ends.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Deadly Dozen Dec 22 2003
By C. T. Mikesell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In the first story of this collection, Lord Peter Wimsey refers to a book he has been reading as "handy for reading a few pages when you're stuck [in a hotel] for the night. You can always take it up and find something entertaining." The same could be said of this slim book of twelve short stories.
It took me a couple stories to realize that there was no point attempting to solve the crimes as I read them: essential clues are not detailed until the denouement or it is left to Wimsey's vast intellect or Egg's street-smarts to arrive at the correct conclusion. These are simply short stories that are a joy to read because they are well-written and deal with interesting crimes, as well as plots that are as carefully crafted as Sayers' amateur detectives with their commitment to seeing justice prevail.
If you are unfamiliar with Sayers' longer fiction, this is a good place to make her acquaintance. These stories provide good examples of her wit and technique, and with no story longer than a couple dozen pages (and most quite a bit shorter than that) you can enjoy a story whenever you find yourself with a few minutes to spare.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Puzzlers Indeed June 27 2011
By RCM - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dorothy L. Sayers was a very intelligent writer of mysteries and in "Hangman's Holiday", a collection of twelve stories, most featuring Lord Peter Wimsey or Montague Egg, that intelligence shines through in mysteries that are extremely hard to solve. In fact, these stories do not read as mysteries to be solved by the average reader, but puzzlers to showcase the wit and fancy of their remarkable writer, for most endings are thoroughly ingenius but darn difficult to come by. It is a mixed collection, enjoyable for a devoted Sayers' fan, but not necessarily suited to a casual mystery reader unfamiliar with the author's style.

Some of the standouts in the collection are the first two Wimsey stories, "The Image in the Mirror" and "The Incredible Elopement of Lord Peter Wimsey". The first features a man who seemingly commits murder without remembering any of them, and the second, a story that relies upon a bit of magic and superstition to resuce an American woman turned zombie (of sorts). The best (and most gruesome) Montague Egg story is "Maher-Shalal-Hashbaz" which features an odd advertisment for cats that are good mice catchters. Monty finds himself struck by the odd advertisement and the even odder fate of these cats. "Murder in the Morning" is another fun Montague Egg story, while solutions to others like "Sleuths on the Scent" and "One Too Many" rely on clues the reader does not have. The final two stories, "The Man Who Knew How" and "The Fountain Plays" are both delightful mysteries, the first featuring an odd tale about committing a "perfect murder" and the second a strange bit of blackmail.

All in all, "Hangman's Holiday" is an enjoyable collection of classic Sayers' mystery stories. Each story showcases the inventive imagination and intelligence of one of the greatest mystery writers. Even if her stories and novels are definitively situated in a particular time and place, the motivations and themes are transcendent and universal.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Sayers' Short Stories Jan. 22 2005
By Gary F. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Few novelists write short stories with equal skill, and Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957) is no exception: given to a very wordy style, her talents do not show well in the form. HANGMAN'S HOLIDAY, however, collects the best of her short story work, and while she will never compete with the true masters of the genre fans will find this collection far superior to Sayers' short story collection LORD PETER VIEWS THE BODY.

HANGMAN'S HOLIDAY collects twelve Sayers stories: "The Image in the Mirror," "The Incredible Elopement of Lord Peter Wimsey," "The Queen's Square," and "The Necklace of Pearls," all featuring Lord Peter Wimsey; "The Poisoned Dow '08," "Sleuths on the Scent," "Murder in the Morning," "One too Many," "Murder at Pentecost," and "Maher-Shalal-Hashbaz," all featuring Montague Egg; and "The Man Who Knew How" and "The Fountain Plays," which are stand-alones without reliance on a continuing character.

Lord Peter Wimsey was Sayers' character of choice, and the four stories in which he features are enjoyably written, small sketches of the character who is better seen in Sayers' longer works. But the real prize are the six Montague Egg and the two stand-alone stories, which have never been widely available in any other collection.

Egg, a cheerful "commercial traveler" (i.e. salesman) representing a wine and port company, is quite different from Sayers' memorable Wimsey--clever but shallow all in one. The stories are also quite different in tone, emphasizing minute observation used to unravel highly specific puzzles. While all are of interest, "The Poisoned Dow '08" is easily the standout. The two stand alone stories are interesting for several reasons, most particularly because they show Sayers in the rare situation of working without a continuing character. Neither story is so much mystery as suspense with an ironic twist--one can imagine them being filmed, for example, by Alfred Hitchcock--with "The Man Who Knew How" quite possibly the single most disturbing thing Sayers ever wrote.

As previously noted, Sayers was not really a short story writer; her complicated constructions feel constricted by the form and her style seems forever straining against the restrictions of the genre. But fans will be greatly interested in this collection, and even a reader with only a casual interest in Sayers' work will find much to enjoy. Recommended.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue Oct. 18 2009
By bernie - Published on Amazon.com
"Hangman's Holiday" is a collection of short stories. There are twelve mysteries around the twenties and thirties England in this book, each stands alone but has a common feel; they are:
"The Image in the Mirror"
"The Incredible Elopement of Lord Peter Wimsey"
"The Queen's Square"
"The Necklace of Pearls"
"The Poisoned Dow '08"
"Sleuths on the Scent"
"Murder in the Morning"
"One too Many"
"Murder at Pentecost"
"Maher-Shalal-Hashbaz"
"The Man Who Knew How"
"The Fountain Plays"

It may be my perception but the mysteries get better and more intriguing as the next one appears. Then it is over.

I will not pull them apart as the fun is listening to them unfold. You may also want to look for the unabridged tape, as the narrator is Ian Carmichael who played Lord Peter Wimsey. He changes his voice for the different people and you can tell the difference. There is a statement that tells you when the tape side ends.
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