Hemning Sternberg (moonshadow) wrote,
Hemning Sternberg

The Mammoth Book of Roaring Twenties Whodunits edited by Mike Ashley

Title: The Mammoth Book of Roaring Twenties Whodunits
Editor: Mike Ashley
Series: "The Mammoth Book of...", including The Mammoth Book of Future Cops, The Mammoth Book of Groaners, The Mammoth Book of Tasteless Lists, and The Mammoth Book of Cheese Doodles. (Kidding. Only the middle book is truly in the series.)
Genre: Anthology, mystery, historical fiction.
Setting: The 20's, mostly in the US and Europe.
Reason for Reading: I found out this book existed and thought it would be awesome.
Finished In: Days.
Pages: 534
Copyright Date: 2004, but the stories were published anytime since the 20s.
Cover: A flapper in thigh highs and pearls raises her hands. Is she dancing, or is it a stickup? A man with a gun is behind her.
First line: "Are You a Free Thinker? Whether or not, Come to the Greenwich Village Feather Ball Costume Dance Given by Writers and Artists of Greenwich Village. Webster Hall, 11st St, near Third Avenue. Admission: In Costume $1, Without Costume $2."
Best part: This is a really well-edited anthology. In addition to the stories being well-chosen, the blurbs at the beginning of the stories are quite illuminating, saying why the editor chose each one and what other works the author has created.
Favorite Stories:"Timor Mortis" by Annette Meyers, "Thoroughly Modern Millinery" by Marilyn Todd, "The Day of Two Cars" by Gillian Linscott, "Putting Crime Over" by Hubert Footner, and "Without Fire" by Tom Holt.
Worst part: When the stories were bad, they were really bad. One tried to involve practically every celebrity of the time period, another was a parody of a detective I'd never heard of.
Imaginary Theme Song: The Charleston
Grade: B-, mostly because the stories have so much breadth and variation in tone and themes that I didn't like all of them. On the other hand, that suggests that this book will appeal to a wide audience. Many of the stories I didn't like just because they were bleak.
Recommended for: Mystery buffs should definitely give it a look.
Related Reads: Touchstone by Laurie R King, Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers, The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett.
Tags: books 2011, fiction
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