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The Mammoth Book Of Perfect Crimes and Impossible Mysteries Paperback – Dec 15 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; 1 edition (Dec 15 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786718935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786718931
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #579,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"'There's almost too much entertainment value in these tales assembled by veteran editor and mystery scholar Mike Ashley. Ration them, and you'll only savour them more.' Amazon Editorial review" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Mike Ashley is editor of The Mammoth Book of Locked Room Mysteries, and several volumes of The Mammoth Book of Historical Whodunnits, as well as numerous other crime anthologies.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
"The Mammoth Book of Perfect Crimes and Impossible Mysteries," edited by Mike Ashley, includes both reprints of stories meeting the title's description and stories written specifically for this volume, which was published in 2007. The oldest stories are from 1910 ("The Red Ring," by William Le Queux) and 1913 ("The Mystery of the Sevenoaks Tunnel," by Max Rittenberg); there are a number of stories from the 1930s, by Vincent Cornier, C. Daly King, Forrest Rosaire and Douglas Newton; and from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s in addition to the nine tales written especially for this anthology by the likes of Peter Crowther, Bernard Knight, Richard A. Lupoff and Peter Tremayne, among others. Interestingly, there are only three women included, and two of them are co-authors with men; I'm not sure if there's any reason for this discrepancy, but it has no effect on the stories themselves, which are all quite entertaining. I tended to like the earlier ones simply because they describe a time and sensibility that is alien to me, but really the whole volume is worth reading. I did skip one story ("Murder in Monkeyland," by Lois Gresh and Robert Weinberg) because it involved lab animals, but otherwise I enjoyed these stories. If you're fond of impossible murders, this is a volume for you - recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining Collection of How-They-Dun-It Murder Mysteries! Oct. 17 2007
By Michael OConnor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Publishers Carroll & Graf and its crack editor Mike Ashley serve up another wonderful collection of murder mysteries. In this case the stories collected are of a kind, seemingly impossible murders that defy explanation. As always, Ashley's instincts are impeccable with nary a clunker found in the 30 stories therein.

The stories in this anthology span the years from 1910(!)to 2006 with authors ranging from Peter Crowther to Edward D. Hoch, Robert Randisi, Richard Lupoff, Peter Tremayne and Bill Pronzini. Among the 'perfect crimes' are the following: a man seemingly alone in an all-glass phone booth who dies from an ice pick in the back; a lion tamer found strangled in a locked train car; a man wounded, while sitting alone in a room, by a bullet fired 200 years ago; an Indian rope trick performer who vanishes at the end of the trick only to be found dead in a nearby lake; three Denver women found murdered, their bodies seemingly untouched yet with their internal organs removed; a dead man who continues to receive mail in response to letters apparently written by him after he died; and so on.

My favorite tale in this volume is Bill Pronzini's "Proof of Guilt." Pronzini's clever, clever story concerns the murder of an attorney. A client who was with the attorney when he was murdered claims he's innocent and the police are stymied. The story has such a marvelous - and funny - denouement that it automatically earned the book a five-star rating!

In any case, if you're an armchair detective, you'll want to pick up this book. It's a wonderfully entertaining collection of stories!

***
I'd suggest you keep this book by your bed or favorite chair and sample the contents rather than reading it straight through - better to savor each unique, imaginative tale a story at a time.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Locked rooms, impossible crimes, and perfect murders Sept. 22 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Editor Mike Ashley has assembled more than 500 pages' worth of short mystery fiction focusing on locked room murders, impossible crimes, and even perfect murders -- ranging from one story originally published as early as 1910 to several that were previously unpublished when the book came out in 2007. Included are 30 audacious murder scenarios: A man alone in a phone booth is somehow stabbed in the back with an icepick; a man alone in a room is shot by a bullet fired over 200 years ago; a man enters a cable-car alone and is dead when it reaches the bottom; a man receives mail in response to letters apparently written by him--after his death; a lion tamer is found strangled in a locked train car; an Indian rope trick performer vanishes at the end of the trick only to be found dead in a nearby lake; three women are found murdered, their bodies seemingly untouched yet with their internal organs removed.

Sometimes the reader knows the killer, watching to see whether he can beat the investigators; sometimes the story is a whodunit, where everyone is a suspect; and sometimes the crime is such a head-scratcher that one can only turn the pages hoping to figure out what in the world happened. Along the way, the editor calls on such familiar authors as Edward D. Hoch, Bill Pronzini, and J.A. Konrath, while also digging up a healthy assortment of lost classics. (Ashley avoids any examples from John Dickson Carr and G.K. Chesterton, two masters of the form, because those authors' stories are often so readily available.)

Some of the stories are great, some are okay, and one or two make you slap your forehead in amazement. Overall, a fine collection for any fan of puzzle mysteries.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Great read! July 20 2008
By Jennifer R. Ewing - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. One of the hazards of short story collections, particularly if you read as voraciously as I do, is that you end up getting a "new" collection full of lots of stories you've read before. I got a great deal of pleasure from this book because, while I recognized many of the authors, all of the stories were new to me. The authors came up with some very clever twists on the "locked room" theme--I highly recommend this book!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A good friend of crime fiction fans Dec 15 2009
By C. ROUPAKIAS - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very good collection of crime fiction stories-reading this book will be a very high quality entertainment for the reader and at the same time a challenge for him to uncover the truth behind some of these very original mysteries.Although I did not enjoy all the stories in there the same,I found two or three of them even somewhat boring,I feel I have to give five stars to this book because it is a very carefully edited collection and it provides for everything such a collection should offer;thrilling mysteries,many stories of high litterary value,information on the texts as well as the authors,very wide variety of authors (and cosequently of writing styles) and all in all a very satisfying read.I feel I have to say that my experience with crime fiction is somewhat more extensive than the average reader's and that is the reason I think makes my opinion worth considering.Thank you for reading this review.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A great collection of mystery stories. Oct. 2 2009
By Gary Mosher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like mystery stories this book is well worth the investment. Mike Ashley has done a terrific job, as always (I enjoy all of his collections). Some great stories, some average stories and only 1 or 2 duds. A book I can see myself re-reading a year or two from now. I hope there are going to me more collections like this in the future!


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