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The Mammoth Book of Historical Detectives Paperback – August, 1995

8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Mammoth Book of
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers (August 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786702141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786702145
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,562,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eric Mayer and wife Mary Reed published several short John the Lord Chamberlain detections in mystery anthologies and in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine prior to 1999's highly acclaimed first full length novel, One For Sorrow. Their protagonist's adventures continued in Two For Joy (2000), a Glyph Award winner in the Best Mystery category. Two For Joy also gained an Honorable Mention in the Glyph Best Book Award list and in addition was a finalist for the IPPY Best Mystery Award. Three For A Letter (2001), Four For A Boy (2003), and Five For Silver (2004) followed. The latter two novels were nominees for the Bruce Alexander History Mystery Award. Five For Silver won the 2005 Glyph Award for Best Book Series. In June 2003 the American Library Association's Booklist Magazine named the Lord Chamberlain novels as one of its four Best Little Known Series. Six For Gold appeared in 2005, Seven For A Secret in 2008, Eight For Eternity in 2010, and Nine for the Devil in 2012. In December 2012, A new, revised version of One for Sorrow will be published in the UK and Europe by Head of Zeus.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Root on September 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second in Mike Ashley's series of wide-ranging historical detective stories. The reader should be aware that in addition to these, he also has anthologies keyed to particular eras, such as the classical world. What an amazing breadth of knowledge about the mystery field he must have!

I particularly like Ashley, not only for the quality, but also the variety of stories that he includes. Some of these stories appear here for the first time, but he also includes stories that were popular decades ago. Doubly historic, one might say. It's a great place to discover new authors and series. He has introductions about the authors and also about the series, when the latter applies.

Below is a list of the contents for your edification. When I know that a story is in a series, I've noted that in brackets.

1. Death in the Dawntime by F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre
2. The Judgement of Daniel
3. Death Wears a Mask by Steven Saylor [Gordianus the Finder or Roma sub Rosa]
4. The King of Sacrifices by John Maddox Robberts [SPQR]
5. The Three Travellers by R. L. Stevens
6. The Case of the Murdered Senator by Wallace Nichols [Sollius, the Slave Detective]
7, A Mithraic Mystery by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer [John the Eunuch]
8. Abbey Sinister by Peter Tremayne [Sister Fidelma]
9. The Two Beggers Robert van Gulik [Judge Dee]

10, The Investigation of Things by Charles Ardai
11. The Midwife's Tale by Margaret Frazer [Sister Frevisse]
12. The Duchess and the Doll by Edith Pargeter (Ellis Peters)
13. Ordeal by Fire by Mary Monica Pulver [Father Hugh]
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jack Maybrick on December 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
It was a mistake to end this volume with a "Solar Pons" story.

The editor, Mike Ashley, imagined that he was paying homage to Sherlock Holmes, of all things, when he chose to do so, but Solar Pons and his associate, Dr. Parker, are such obvious rip-offs of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson that the inclusion of a "Solar Pons" story could hardly qualify as a tribute.

The original Conan Doyle stories have received a wide enough circulation, but there are a number of Holmes "pastiche" stories written since Conan Doyle's time - of varying quality - and the better ones would have provided more effective homage to the master than any Solar Pons story.

Nevertheless, historical detective stories are my favorite genre, and most of the other stories in this volume are quite good. The stories run much of the gamut of human history, starting from the very first story, set in about 35,000 B.C. among the ancient aborigines of (what is now) Australia. Ashley speculates in his intro that this is the earliest setting ever for any detective story, but I am fairly certain that years ago, I read one set in the Stone Age.

Included within the volume is also a Lillian de la Torre story in which none other than Dr. Samuel Johnson and James Boswell are the twin detectives - one of several such stories that she wrote over the course of her career. This one, intriguingly enough, is set at the time of the American Revolution. I was also delighted to see one of Melville Davisson Post's "Uncle Abner" stories (set in early 19th century Virginia) included - one I had not seen before.

Edward D.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By lilac11 on May 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was an easy book to get right into. Even though it is a collection of stories it does keep your interest. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery
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Format: Paperback
This mammoth book of detective stories is an intriguing read. The book is, in all, a huge compilation and variety of mystery stories. The majority of these stories involved murder or mysterious deaths, but a few stories pop up about missing people or things. The stories in this book are definitely varied. Whether by time period, detective, or overall plot. Because this is a compilation of stories there are many authors, and it is difficult to get a hold of each author's writing style in a short amount of time, as it is with any book of compilations. From reading the book, I never really found an author that I really disliked so that shows the Mike Ashley, the compiler, did a good job of choosing stories for the book. The book is as it is advertised and includes stories from as late as 35000 BCE to the 1920's. The range in locations from the Rome to China and Australia along to the America's is well arranged in the book. Although it is organized via time period, the books do seem to flow from place to place. Mike Ashley has done a great job with arranging the book and incorporating a wide variety of stories.

My experience while reading this book is good and definitely not just thrown together into a book. Ashley definitely put thought into how he wanted to arrange the stories and another great plus in the book is that at the beginning of each story there is a brief background/ history on the author and the setting which really sets you into the mind of the author. Also in the little intro paragraphs are other novels or works by the author so you can check out other books if you like it. Ashley also legitimizes the many authors information about the time period here, allowing for you to feel more entrusting of the author.
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