Monday, July 27, 2020

Vintage Crime

Vintage Crime is a new anthology of  vintage crime fiction from the Crime Writers Association edited by Martin Edwards. Due out 27th Aug 2020 from Flame Tree Press, it's 256 pages and will be available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

The CWA has produced numerous collections of members' works in the past, and this one is no exception. The difference here is that the works are chosen from the association's founding in 1953 to more or less the present day. The earliest story is copyright 1940 (John Dickson Carr's Footprints in the Sky), the newest 2008 (All She Wrote by Nick Harron). The authors represented are a mixed lot, many are instantly recognizable to everyone, some less familiar (and a few with whom I was previously completely unfamiliar).

One reason I prefer collections and anthologies is that short fiction is really challenging.  It's spare and the author doesn't have a wealth of wordage to develop characters or the plotting.  Well written short fiction is a delight. I also love anthologies because if one story doesn't really grab me, there's another story just a few pages away. Attributions and publication info are included at the end of the book along with short contributor bios.

For me, one of the biggest draws of these anthologies is the erudite and always interesting introductions by editor Martin Edwards. Mr. Edwards has a prodigious knowledge of the genre and writes engagingly and well.

Well written, this entry and the CWA anthologies as a whole are well worth seeking out. This would make a superlative selection for readers of the genre as well as an introduction to classic crime fiction from mid-20th century onward. I love that these collections have some very well known names from the genre alongside lesser known but worthy authors.

This would make a superlative choice for commute reading or short interludes.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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