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The Mammoth Book of Dickensian Whodunnits Paperback – November 9, 2007
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The stories in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF DICKENSIAN WHODUNITS inserts either Charles Dickens or one of the many characters he created into various murder mystery plots. In 'The Marshalsea Handicap,' for instance, Dickens is a suspect in a poisoning that took place in Marshalsea Prison. In actual fact, Dickens' family was confined to the very same place due to Dickens' father going into debt. In 'Encounter in the Dark,' Dickens, touring America, meets Edgar Allan Poe and, naturally, murder ensues. 'The Tidal' mixes history with fiction, involving Dickens in a railway accident - which actually took place - followed by murderous attacks on several of the accident victims. Dickens investigates and turns up the guilty party.
The other stories in this 2007 Carroll & Graf volume involve Dickensian characters such as Scrooge, Oliver Twist, Little Nell, Paul Dombey and David Copperfield in murder most foul. Scrooge, for example, attempts to unravel a twisted tale of murder while simultaneously protecting a tiny baby who's an innocent participant in the evil doings. Those who loved THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP will find a totally different Little Nell awaiting them in 'The End of Little Nell' story; brace yourselves, folks! Oliver Twist tries to help his old friend, the Artful Dodger, beat a murder rap in 'Murder in Murray's Court' and so on.Read more ›
Not Ashley's best collection; in fact, it's the first one I was unable to finish. I generally dislike putting real people into fictional settings and/or re-using fictional characters, but even without that preference, very few of these stories qualified as enjoyable. The story in letters from the Squeers girl was like listening to the awfullest, most self-delusional highschool queen for way too long. The story featuring a whiny, entitled Edgar Allen Poe offered the additional liability of switching points of view - difficult to pull off in a novel and even harder in a short story. I forced myself to read the first half, and while there was an occasional enjoyable story, they were so rare that I quit.