Serpents in Eden (ed. Martin Edwards)

Yet another post on a BLCC anthology. Hey, they're the ones that are easiest available featuring old-timey stories, so it's not that strange that they feature heavily on this blog. This was published in 2016, so it's one of the older ones, which means that Edwards had a full range of stories to choose from in producing this volume.

This one is subtitled "Countryside crimes", which also means that I am less inclined to be annoyed that the stories aren't mysteries... As you can probably gather, this means that the theme of this anthology is stories with a rural setting. We get the usual assortment of authors, some very famous, some who have fallen out of favour, and some who never became household names at all. To be honest, this probably has the highest rate of heavy hitters compared with unknowns of all the BLCC anthologies I've read so far.

Arthur Conan Doyle - The Black Doctor

A doctor with an unknown past has moved into the small village Bishop's Crossing, and soon he is engaged to be married to a young lady from the nearby Leigh Hall. But late one night, he seems to have received a visitor, since several witnesses have heard him arguing and calling loudly. And the next morning, he is found dead in his study...

I'm in two minds about this one. The solution involves something that is generally looked upon as a bit of a cheat, but Doyle writes deftly and keeps the story going. There's no Sherlock Holmes in this one (since it was written while he was temporarily "dead"), and it's even less of a mystery than those stories. On the whole, I suppose it's passable.

M. McDonnell Bodkin - Murder by Proxy

Already discussed in this post.

G. K. Chesterton - The Fad of the Fisherman

Sir Isaac is found murdered after having been in a secluded spot, fishing away.

Another heavy-hitter with a story not featuring his most well-known detective. This one instead uses Horne Fisher, but this might as well have been a Brown tale, there's very little to distinguish it. The first few pages are quite bewildering, and there's no detection - Fisher just tells us what happened, without us really getting to know how he would know that.

E. C. Bentley - The Genuine Tabard

Philip Trent meets two visiting Americans, and is told about the fortunate find they made while having a drive in the country. They came across a quaint old church and its vicar, and while there managed to acquire a mediaeval tabard that is quite unique. But Trent is not so sure.

So, this one at least features the author's most famous creation. Bentley wrote a couple of fine short stories, but this one only ranks somewhere in the middle. It's an all right read, but there's not much detection, things just unfold as the story meanders along.

Herbert Jenkins - The Gylston Slander

This story tells the tale of Malcolm Sage who's investigating a case where a curate in a local church is being suspected of being a poison-pen letter writer.

I have to wonder if this tale is actually just an excerpt from a novel, because some of the writing here is very hard to follow otherwise. The first six or seven paragraphs have no bearing at all on what follows, and there are some things that are implicitly understood as if they've been explained elsewhere. That doesn't matter much though, because the story isn't much to talk about anyway. It's quite run of the mill with a fairly obvious culprit. More melodrama than mystery.

H. C. Bailey - The Long Barrow

Reggie Fortune investigates a case where two scientists - man and woman - have moved out into the countryside and are being followed in different creepy ways. But as Fortune immerses himself more into the mystery, he becomes convinced that there is more to the story than just a simple case of persecution.

This story - as usual with Bailey, it's a fairly long one - is really a tale in two parts. The above description only applies to the first half, but then the whole thing veers off in a different direction (though Fortune seems to have had his suspicions from the very start). It's not a fair play story in any sense, not one of Bailey's better efforts.

R. Austin Freeman - The Naturalist at Law

Dr. John Thorndyke has been approached by the brother of a man who's been found drowned in a ditch. The question now is if the whole thing is really a suicide, as it appears, or something more sinister...

A very typical Freeman story where we follow Thorndyke's scientific findings which slowly but surely unveil the whole picture for us. It's only tangentially a fair play story, because while (some of) the clues are signalled, there's really no way that we readers can solve this thing along with Thorndyke. An okay-ish read, on the whole.

Margery Allingham - A Proper Mystery

Farmer Mr. Light put his cows out to graze, but somehow they managed to get through the enclosing and destroyed a whole set-up of lots that were intended to be judged on at the following day's Flower Show.

A misnomer, because this ain't no mystery at all. It's just an amusing countryside vignette. Fun, but very inconsequential. (No, there's no Albert Campion in this one.)

Anthony Berkeley - Direct Evidence

As Roger Sheringham is bringing forth his wisdom on evidence, he is called on by a young lady whose brother has been arrested on suspicion of murder. It seems that the brother was having a sort of dalliance with a married woman, and several witnesses saw him drive up in his car and beat the woman to death.

This is yet another Berkeley winner. As Edwards points out in his foreword, Berkeley wrote a variant of this story which was published elsewhere as "Double Bluff" (in the collection "The Avenging Chanee"). I've read both, and I think both are very worthwhile. The entire setup is the same in both stories, "Double Bluff" only differs in introducing another character. In both cases we get very fine examples of fair play mystery writing. Do seek out the alternative variant if you have the opportunity, just to compare the two.

Loel Yeo (Leonora Wodehouse) - Inquest

A man has been killed in his manor, and his nephew becomes the chief suspect as he was on the premises at the time and it was well known that there had been words between the two before. But at the inquest, new evidence is introduced...

The obscurest of writers here (since she only wrote this one story), I had actually read this before - it was published in a Swedish anthology from the forties. It's not a fair play mystery by any means, but I sort of liked it anyway. This is more of a courtside mystery (or an inquest, as the title tells us), but unlike many of its ilk it has no negativity, no pessimism, no nasty sting in its tail. It's as cheery as a story about a murder can be, really. And I like that.

Ethel Lina White - The Scarecrow

A woman was terrorized by a man who attempted to kill her and was put in a mental institution. Now, he has escaped, and the woman who lives with her mother on a remote farm is alerted to the danger. As the suspense rises, the scarecrow she built just days before takes on a more sinister appearance...

You know my opinion on White's stories by now - they're well written and all, but I have no time at all for this type of story. Psychological suspense may be my least favourite mystery subgenre.

Leo Bruce - Clue in the Mustard

Sergeant Beef relates the first important case he worked on, where an elderly lady has been found dead in her garden. Everything points to death of natural causes, but Beef has noticed one or two things that makes him suspicious.

This isn't completely fair play, because the most important clue - the one in the title - isn't really shown to the reader. Otherwise, this is a perfectly fine short short. Bruce is quickly becoming a favourite of mine.

Gladys Mitchell - Our Pageant

A man is killed during the morris dancing segment of a pageant in a quaint English village. There is an obvious suspect, but he was not a part of that segment, so how could he have done it?

There are some similarities between this and Allingham's contribution to this collection. It's a bit of silly fluff, very short and ends before overstaying its welcome.


This starts off quite lackluster, but picks up a bit towards the end. The Berkeley and Bruce stories are the two standouts, and there was nothing that was truly bad here. There's only the White story that didn't work for me at all, and that's simply because of my preferences, not because White wrote a bad story.

So, distinctly average in nature, but nevertheless not disappointing, and as I said, a couple of tales to make the collection a worthwhile purchase. If this is because it contains a higher concentration of stories by more celebrated writers or not is hard to say. Out of the two truly obscure stories, one was better than average and the other was worse...

1. Miraculous Mysteries - no surprise there, this is an impossible crime anthology, so it has lots of things going for it that elevate it above all the other collections.
2. Silent Nights - the quality of the collections from here on is fairly uniform, but I think this one just manages to go to the top. A good variety of stories and a few really good ones.
3. Blood on the Tracks - a collection with few standouts and some truly bewildering inclusions, but on the whole it was still a worthwhile read.
4. The Long Arm of the Law - starts off spottily, but gets better and better, and even though it finishes with one of the worst stories I've ever read it's still distinctly above average.
5. Serpents in Eden - the very definition of average with two highlights and no real disappointments.
6. Crimson Snow - a rough start and ending to this anthology belies the fact that it collects a solid bunch of stories, perhaps only marred by the fact that there is no true highlight here.
7. Continental Crimes - a disappointing read on the whole where the great stories are few and far between.
8. Resorting to Murder - there's a bunch of easily forgotten stuff here. But also one awesome story that means that it manages to avoid being placed last.
9. Murder at the Manor - I was thoroughly disappointed that this didn't feature any true country house mysteries. I think there was one fair play mystery among the whole bunch of stories.

Over at Mysteries Ahoy, Aidan had a bit more time for this collection than I did. And both the Puzzle Doctor and Kate at crossexaminingcrime really seemed to like it a lot.


These Daisies Told - Arthur Porges

Fairly recently (this is written in early 2019), we impossible crime fiends got another lovely gift, a collection of impossible crime stories by Arthur Porges, featuring the third of his impossible crime solvers, Professor Ulysses Price Middlebie. This handy collection, with eleven stories, is heartily recommended to all who enjoy impossible crimes.

A couple of words of warning though: There's one drawback to Porges's impossible crime stories, and that's the fact that they are fairly formulaic. I wouldn't recommend anyone to sit down and read all the three impossible collections we have with Porges stories (this one, The Curious Cases of Cyriack Skinner Grey, and No Killer Has Wings) in one sitting.

The formula is the following: We have a problem solver who is a bit quirky who is approached by a policeman who is conscientious and by-the-book but not as imaginative as the protagonist (in both the Grey and Middlebie stories, the policeman is a former student of the problem solver). The case presented to our hero generally does not necessitate finding a culprit (he or she is almost always known beforehand), instead focusing on needing an impossible situation solved. The problem solver is told about the case by his policeman acquaintance, and receives meticulous notes on the case, sometimes accompanied by photographs, and then the cop shuffles off-stage, leaving our hero to ponder the whole situation. Sometimes he (or in Grey's case, his proxy of a son) needs to see the crime scene to confirm certain conclusions, and then the problem solver gives us a possible explanation that is generally based on one specific scientific fact, some of these more esoteric than others.

With that said, I'd argue that the Grey and Middlebie stories are the most similar, while Hoffman's cases can divert a bit from the formula, mainly by being longer and offering us a deeper view of the whole affair. But it would take very little to change a Cyriack Skinner Grey story into a Middlebie one, or vice versa.

However, that caveat doesn't really affect the quality of the individual stories. And let's find out what they are like...

The first story here is the one giving the collection its name, "These Daisies Told". All the pieces of the board are already in place here: Professor Middlebie is approached by Detective Sergeant Black who relates the story of a woman who's vanished. The police are sure that she's been murdered by her husband - they were known to have had a rocky relationship, and she was the one with all the money. The only problem is that they can find no body, and since they've had the entire area under observation and searched the premises with no luck, this presents a problem for them.

The formula is already in place, as I said, so we're told the story along with the professor. This is one of the stories where Middlebie needs to visit the scene in order to confirm a suspicion. The explanation rests on a single fact which I thought was a bit hard to glean from the story itself, but in all I liked this one. It really is a clever hiding place.

"The Unguarded Path" follows next. This offers some variation, since the crime has not been committed yet. A man who is going to be a witness against a criminal syndicate is placed in an isolated house with police guarding every square inch of the premise and the roads surrounding it. But they know that a very clever assassin is coming for the witness, and he's already announced the exact time when the murder is going to take place.

I liked the variation here, but the impossibility (how is the murderer planning to do his deed?) felt almost impossible to solve. It's clever, but I didn't see how it was possible to solve it with the facts we're given. But maybe that's just me.

In "The Missing Bow", a man has been killed by an arrow through an open window while he was shaving in the bathroom. The police are certain they know who did it - a man with an old grievance towards the victim, who was placed in the alley outside the window. But the man didn't have a bow, and the distance between the ground level and the window where the victim was shaving was ten feet, so how could he have committed the crime?

Again, the formula is in full play here: everything is already known by the police, they only need Middlebie to explain the "how". I liked this explanation better - it's very simple, and unlike for example the previous one, the solution is mainly based on false assumptions that the reader should have avoided. The ending also has some variation from the usual Porges fare.

There's a French visitor in "Small, Round Man from Texas", and it's a policeman following a famous robber only known as "The Chameleon", because no one knows what he looks like - though he's known to be quite tall. And since DS Black is also on the case, both policemen come to visit Professor Middlebie and get his opinion on how the robber could have escaped from their very tight security net.

And of course Middlebie focuses on the salient points, finding the person who is most probably the robber. I do think this story underestimates the police quite a bit. In reality, there's no way they'd have missed the bad guy, because they had to be fairly stupid to let him through their fingers. A bit disappointing.

A serial wife killer has been a bit sloppy and left some of his blood behind on the latest crime scene in "Blood Will Tell". However, there's this pesky thing called the Fifth Amendment in the US, and that means that the police cannot take a blood sample from their suspect to compare it with the blood on the scene. So Sergeant Black comes to Middlebie, hoping for a suggestion on how to proceed.

It's a fun and imaginative solution that Middlebie comes up with, but I have to wonder if it would really work in reality. First, would that really be admissible, and second, if it were, wouldn't there still be "reasonable doubt"? But like I said, it's a fun idea, though just a bit slight.

I've already discussed "Coffee Break" in this post. It really is a top story, and it's the only true locked-room mystery here. All other stories are a bit narrower in scope, focusing on a single impossibility that needs to be solved.

"A Model Crime" is rather inverted from the previous stories. Here we have an impossible situation where one person of a small group has somehow managed to smuggle out very small transistors from an electronics company, even though the security measures are very rigorous.

So, this time the professor has to find a possible way for someone to transport these transistors from within the company to the outside. The explanation he comes up with is again quite imaginative and fun, and again I find myself wondering whether this would really work in the real world. One would think that someone would be suspicious about what the culprit was doing...

Professor Middlebie has acted as an armchair detective in the last two stories due to an injury, and continues to do so in "To Barbecue a White Elephant". This time, DS Black comes with a case where a man is suspected of having committed arson, even though he was thousands of miles away at the time.

The explanation that Middlebie comes up with here is based on a very simple thing, something that most of us will have in the back of our minds and should be able to work out. However, I also think that this method would leave behind certain evidence that should be interpreted by the firemen and/or the police after the fire. So I'm in two minds about this - it's creative and very easy, but I'd have liked it more if Porges had managed to explain how they didn't find this corroborating evidence.

In "The Puny Giant", a woman has been killed by being hit with a very big rock, and next to her body is found a very large footprint. The police are suspicious towards her adopted son, but he's a small sixteen year old kid, so how could he have committed such a crime?

This might have the most imaginative solution of all the stories in this collection. It really is fantastic, and all the clues are there. I think perhaps the giant footprint is a bit of a weakness here, because I think that the police should have been able to recognise how it was made (or at least how it wasn't made), but the explanation for how the murder was committed - wow! A great one.

"The Symmetrical Murder" gives us a case where a man has been killed by a blunt instrument while out on a balcony in the fog. The hotel where he resided is built as a symmetrical structure with two wings of three floors each. The apartments below and above the one where the man was do not offer any means of allowing the crime to happen, and so Professor Middlebie needs to come up with an explanation for how someone could have killed him from the opposite wing.

Which he does, in a fairly clever way. I'm not quite sure of the science here, would the weapon really return to the killer as Middlebie explains it? It probably would, my mind just can't really see how it works.

This collection ends with "Fire for Peace", where someone is setting small fires in a chemical warfare company by somehow smuggling in incendiaries.

Hey, I gotta agree with Middlebie, I don't really see a reason for trying to catch the culprit here. The explanation offered by the good professor is a bit out there - I don't really feel that there was enough cluing here to give the reader a chance to match his wits with Middlebie. Clever, but not Porges's best tale.


I haven't been gushing about these stories in the individual reviews, but I want to make it absolutely clear: The general quality here is much higher than for example in the BLCC anthologies I've reviewed lately. I'm reviewing these stories against each other, not against the stories in those collections.

The type of stories Porges writes is the kind that generally suits me to a T. His tales are very focused on providing a clear problem, with a solution that's just as clear. The characterisation is almost non-existent and what there is is just there to provide some context. It's probably as far from a modern "mystery" as you can come while still remaining in the genre.

If the rumours are true that there will be a fourth and final volume of Porges's uncollected impossible stories, this reader will be very happy indeed.

The best stories here, and the ones I'd like to include in my impossible project, are: "The Missing Bow", "Coffee Break", "To Barbecue a White Elephant" and "The Puny Giant".

TomCat was also very happy with this release when he reviewed it at "Beneath the Stains of Time".


Resorting to Murder (ed. Martin Edwards)

Aaaaand... I'm back! And to start things off, a look at yet another British Library Crime Classics anthology, this time one subtitled "Holiday mysteries". And it has to be said, the connection to this theme is quite tenuous in some of the stories featured here. In fact, once I had finished this collection, I had to check once again what the title was, because I couldn't really recall any unifying theme.

So, I guess that's not the best sign, but on the other hand, that won't matter much if the stories are good anyway. To me, it felt as though this collection was a bit more slanted towards the early 1900s than some of the other anthologies I've discussed, but I haven't done a scientific study - it may just be a feeling I have.

There are several famous faces here - Doyle, Berkeley, Freeman, Gilbert to name but a few - and also a smattering of less well-known writers. Let's get stuck in, shall we?

Arthur Conan Doyle - The Adventure of the Devil's Foot

Holmes and Watson are taking a restive break in Cornwall, but while there they are approached by two men. One of these two men has a family of two brothers and a sister, where the brothers have been killed and the sister rendered mad because of some kind of horrible crime or accident. Holmes decides to begin investigating to find out the cause of this misfortune.

The well-versed mystery reader will probably immediately send his suspicions in one direction. It's not the hardest Holmes tale to see through. Still, Doyle conjures up a thrilling atmosphere and it's still well worth a read.

E. W. Hornung - A Schoolmaster Abroad

Dr. Dollar has come to Switzerland for a winter holiday, but as soon as he arrives he is told of a mysterious change that has befallen one of the other visitors, who used to be a cheerful fellow previously but has showed himself to be more haughty during this visit. And to top it all off, he recently survived a poisoning - accidental or not!

This was a bit less successful. We're still in early 1900s melodrama territory and the author holds off from telling the reader several things that could be useful in trying to solve the mystery. Not a fair play story by any means. Hornung is not a bad writer, though, so it's still a brisk read.

Arnold Bennett - Murder!

The tale of two men, one with a history of maltreating his wife and the other with a healthy affection for said wife. When the former buys a gun, the latter somehow contrives to leave the gunsmith's shop with another one in his pocket.

I had some hope for this story, since I had rather enjoyed Bennett's offering in Continental Crimes, but this was a bit of a letdown. There's no mystery here, it's just the story of a crime. Meh. The more I think about it, the more annoyed I get.

M. McDonnell Bodkin - The Murder on the Golf Links

Mr Hawkins is killed on the golf links, murdered by the traditional "blunt weapon". As he had recently quarrelled with a rival in a romantic entanglement, suspicion naturally veers towards this rival. But Paul Beck, son of Paul Beck, steps in to investigate...

Okay, this is definitely a mystery, so steps in the right direction. Though not all the way, because this was very, very easily seen through. I think the best thing I can say about this tale is that I don't regret reading it.

G. K. Chesterton - The Finger of Stone

Three men discuss a recent event, where local celebrity Professor Boyg has disappeared and is believed dead, though no body has been found. It seems he just vanished from view when walking along a mountain path, while his assistant looked away for a moment.

So no Father Brown here. This is more a Chestertonian parable where he attempts to explain his worldview than a mystery story, to be honest. If you generally like Chesterton, you'll probably like this. If you think that Chesterton is generally too skimpy on the mystery aspect, then you'll agree with me instead.

Basil Thomson - The Vanishing of Mrs. Fraser

A mother and daughter have arrived in Paris from Naples. They take a room at a hotel, but the mother falls ill and the daughter is sent away by the doctor to collect medicine. However, when she arrives at the address provided, there are no drugs to be found, and when she returns everyone denies having ever seen her or her mother before.

A fairly familiar plot, this one. I kind of liked this one, though mainly for the way it hinted at one character as the detective, just to flipflop everything. Otherwise, there's not too much in the way of fair play, so that bit was a letdown.

R. Austin Freeman - A Mystery of the Sand-Hills

While visiting friends, Dr. Thorndyke takes a walk along the beach, where first his party find a set of footprints leading from the sea, and then some distance away, a bunch of clothes with a set of footprints leading into the sea, though there are some indications that these footprints are not the same.

I'd read this one before, though it was a while ago. It's interesting to contrast the way Freeman handles Thorndyke's theorizing with how Doyle would do it in his Holmes stories. Both of them manage to draw very far-reaching conclusions from very little. Though Freeman has a reputation for writing about scientific detection, this is still quite rooted in early 1900s melodrama. It's not a great story, but still very readable.

H. C. Bailey - The Hazel Ice

Reggie Fortune is holidaying with his wife in Switzerland, along with his friend, Swiss police officer Herr Stein. They come across a mountaineer who has been in an accident while out walking along the mountain paths and lost his companion. Fortune takes an interest in the case, suspecting foul play.

Unlike many Bailey stories, this does not feature children in peril at all. But like many Bailey stories, it is very long. I think this would have benefitted from some judicious editing, because at the heart of it there's a pretty good story. It just feels quite padded when Bailey doesn't really bring any surprises or fireworks.

Anthony Berkeley - Razor Edge

Roger Sheringham is staying in Cornwall with his friend, the chief constable, when they come across a case where a woman has reported her husband and a common friend missing. When a body is found drowned, the wife identifies it as her husband. While the police are willing to write it off as an accident, Sheringham has his own suspicions.

Yeah, if you haven't already guessed what's going to happen here, then I daresay you'll be surprised when the sun rises tomorrow again. This story wasn't published during Berkeley's lifetime, only seeing publication several decades after. And I think it's easy to see why, it's really not his finest hour. It's a good read, don't get me wrong, but if you're looking at least for a tiny bit of surprising happenstances in a mystery, then you'd do better to look elsewhere.

Leo Bruce - Holiday Task

Sergeant Beef is in Normandy with his biographer Lionel Townsend, having a bit of a rest. While there, he hears of a case where a sadistic prison warden has disappeared from his job at the prison and somehow turned up dead in his car, having gone over a cliff's edge - without anyone seeing how he and the car managed to leave the prison!

This is, as you can see, an impossible mystery. And it's by far the best thing in this anthology - it's so far ahead of everything else that it's really sad. It is a very, very fine mystery with a great explanation for the impossibility, and I think that this story is really worth the whole price of admission.

Helen Simpson - A Posteriori

Miss Charters is holidaying in Paris, where rumours of spies are flying about, and when at night someone tosses a suspicious package through her hotel window, she decides not to report a thing, instead deciding to leave as quickly as she can.

Yeah, the best thing about this story is the title, the whole point of which I only got after checking back after I'd read the story. Otherwise, it really is a slight thing indeed.

Phyllis Bentley - Where is Mr. Manetot?

Mr. Manetot has written a letter to his friend, describing a number of suspicious events that he ran into while on his way to Lancashire where he was supposed to hold a speech. Since we've been told in the very beginning of this tale that Mr. Manetot has disappeared, these descriptions take on a more sinister meaning...

To a large extent, this is an epistolary story. I thought this one of the better efforts of this anthology, though mainly because of the discovery at a very late stage of the story. Where it suffers is in its explanations, because there are lots of things that go unexplained.

Gerald Findler - The House of Screams

Previously discussed in this post.

Michael Gilbert - Cousin Once Removed

Arthur Alworthy has managed to convince his cousin Kenneth to take a holiday near Howorth Farm, a perfect place for fishing and spelunking, with another advantage that there are deep holes in the ground where you can get rid of cousins that stand between you and a fortune...

So, inverted mystery plot #1A, with twist #1B. A disappointing ending to this collection, particularly so since Gilbert usually ends the BLCC anthologies on a good note.


As you've probably managed to glean from my descriptions there really is very little to the theme of this anthology. Another thing you've probably managed to glean is that this was a disappointing read. There's one colossal highlight that almost mitigates that fact (Leo Bruce, I salute you), and there's a bunch of generally readable stories, but also a whole lot of lackluster, unimaginative stuff. It's easy to see why some of these names managed to fall into obscurity. On the other hand, that might be something to count in this collections favour - it features a lot of stories you probably won't have read before, not just the usual suspects.

1. Miraculous Mysteries - no surprise there, this is an impossible crime anthology, so it has lots of things going for it that elevate it above all the other collections.
2. Silent Nights - the quality of the collections here in the middle of the list is fairly uniform, but I think this one just manages to go to the top. A good variety of stories and a few really good ones.
3. Blood on the Tracks - a collection with few standouts and some truly bewildering inclusions, but on the whole it was still a worthwhile read.
4. The Long Arm of the Law - starts off spottily, but gets better and better, and even though it finishes with one of the worst stories I've ever read it's still distinctly above average.
5. Crimson Snow - a rough start and ending to this anthology belies the fact that it collects a solid bunch of stories, perhaps only marred by the fact that there is no true highlight here.
6. Continental Crimes - a disappointing read on the whole where the great stories are few and far between.
7. Resorting to Murder - there's a bunch of easily forgotten stuff here. But also one awesome story that means that it manages to avoid being placed last.
8. Murder at the Manor - I was thoroughly disappointed that this didn't feature any true country house mysteries. I think there was one fair play mystery among the whole bunch of stories.

TomCat was much kinder to this anthology when he reviewed it over at Beneath the Stains of Time. Mysteries Ahoy's Adrian ended up somewhere between us in his opinions. But I think we all agree on the Bruce story, at least!