Friday, January 5, 2018

In the Shadow of Agatha Christie by Leslie S. Klinger, editor

book cover
In the Shadow of Agatha Christie
edited by Leslie S. Klinger

ISBN-13: 9781681776309
Hardcover: 356 pages
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Released: Jan. 2, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
Agatha Christie burst onto the literary scene in 1920, with The Mysterious Affair at Styles; her last novel was published in 1976, a career longer than even Conan Doyle’s forty-year span. The truth is that it was due to the success of writers like Anna Katherine Green in America; L. T. Meade, C. L. Pirkis, the Baroness Orczy, and Elizabeth Corbett in England; and Mary Fortune in Australia that the doors were finally opened for women crime-writers. Authors who followed them, such as Patricia Wentworth, Dorothy Sayers, and, of course, Agatha Christie would not have thrived without the bold, fearless work of their predecessors—and the genre would be much poorer for their absence.

So while Agatha Christie may still reign supreme, it is important to remember that she did not ascend that throne except on the shoulders of the women who came before her—and inspired her—and who are now removed from her shadow once and for all by this superb new anthology by Leslie S. Klinger. Featuring: Mary Fortune, Harriet Prescott Spofford, Ellen Wood, Elizabeth Corbett, C. L. Pirkis, Geraldine Bonner, Ellen Glasgow, L. T. Meade, Baroness Orczy, Augusta Gro├čer, M. E. Graddon, Anna Katherine Green, Carolyn Wells, Susan Glashell.

My Review:
In the Shadow of Agatha Christie is a collection of 16 short story mysteries that were originally published between 1850 and 1917. They were set in France, England, Australia, Austria, and America. Some of the stories were a person talking about a crime after it was solved, so it's more a "crime story" than a "mystery." The stories that followed someone as they solved a mystery were usually pretty straight-forward and involved few clues. Short stories can't be very complex, but some of the authors relied upon the clever crime to hold the reader's interest whereas others developed the main characters as well. I enjoyed about 2/3rds of the stories and thought "Jury of Her Peers" was the best of the collection. There was no sex. There was a very minor amount of bad language.

"The Advocate's Wedding Day" by Catherine Crowe (originally published 1850, set late 1790s)
"The Squire's Story" by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (pub. 1853, set 1769-1775)
"Traces of Crime" by Mary Fortune (pub. 1865)
"Mr Furbush" by Harriet Prescott Spofford (pub. 1865)
"Mrs. Todhetley's Earrings" by Ellen Wood (pub. 1873)
"Catching a Burglar" by Elizabeth Corbett (pub. 1893)
"The Ghost of Fountain Lane" by C. L. Pirkis (pub. 1893)
"The Statement of Jared Johnson" by Geraldine Bonner (pub. 1899)
"Point in Morals" by Ellen Glasgow (pub. 1899)
"The Blood-Red Cross" by L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace (pub. 1902, set Nov. 1899)
"The Regent's Park Murder" by Baroness Orczy (pub. 1901)
"The Case of the Registered Letter" by Augusta Groner (pub. 1910)
"The Winning Sequence" by M.E. Braddon (pub. 1896)
"Missing: Page Thirteen" by Anna Katherine Green (pub. 1915)
"The Adventures of the Clothes-Line" by Carolyn Wells (pub. 1903)
"Jury of Her Peers" by Susan Glashell (pub. 1917)

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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