Short Story February (5) – wrap-up

Here’s the final week and wrap-up of my Short Story February reading. I read a total of fifty-four short stories during the month, which I think is pretty good, considering I also read two novels.

From Deep Waters, Mysteries on the Waves, edited by Martin Edwards, British Library Crime Classics. Note: I had a Forgotten stories post on this last Friday.

The Turning of the Tide- CS Forester (1936): Atmospheric inverted story of a well-planned murder…

The Swimming Pool- HC Bailey (1936): Reggie Fortune investigates a disappearance and murders in a tale with a twist which was unduly long-winded and written in an irritating style.

A Question of Timing- Phyllis Bentley (1946): Most enjoyable “slice of life”, in which a writer prevents a murder. Neatly-written and full of the right sort of detail.

The Thimble River Mystery- Josephine Bell (1950): This mystery, featuring the author’s series detective, Dr David Wintringham, has a solution which depends on nautical knowledge.

Man Overboard- Edmund Crispin (1954):DI Humbleby tells Gervase Fen just why the police like blackmailers in this neat little tale.

Queer Fish- Kem Bennett (1955): Enjoyable, if a little predictable, story by a forgotten writer.

The Man who was Drowned- James Pattinson (1958): Investigation of a “man overboard’ on the high seas leads to complications and murder.

Seasprite- Andrew Garve (1963): Nice tale of a criminal, “hoist with his own petard”.

Death by Water-Michael Innes (1975): A fish out of water gives a lead in a suspect suicide by drowning.

From The Great Merlini: The Complete Stories of the Magician Detective by Clayton Rawson. I bought this ebook on the recommendation of Jeff Meyerson and I’m enjoying the stories a lot.
“The Clue of the Tatooed Man”
“The Clue of the Broken Legs”
“The Clue of the Missing Motive”
“From Another World”
“Off the Face of the Earth”
“Merlini and the Lie Detector”
“Merlini and the Vanished Diamonds”
“Merlini and the Sound Effects Murder”
“Nothing is Impossible”
“Miracles — All in a Day’s Work”
“Merlini and the Photographic Clues”
“The World’s Smallest Locked Room”

I’ll have a Forgotten Book post on this coming Friday.

The Thinking Machine: Fifty Novelettes and Short Stories by Jacques Futrelle, Neo Books, 2018
“Kidnapped Baby Blake, Millionaire”
Just the one, but I’ll get back to these, I like them.
I’ll be back to these next month, between novels. At least that’s the plan.

Conclusion: I always enjoy reading short stories, and I’ll continue to read them throughout the year, though not as many in a row. To those who joined in, thanks very much. Let’s do it again in 2021.

How was your short story reading for February?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Books & Reading, current reading, Fantasy, Mystery, Short Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Short Story February (5) – wrap-up

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    54 is indeed a good total, nearly two a day. My February total was…55! That is up from 42 in 2018 and 46 last year in February. Also up quite a bit from January’s measly 36.

    This week:

    O. Henry –
    From Each According to His Ability
    The Memento (finishing THE VOICE OF THE CITY)

    From DEEP WATERS –
    Gwyn Evans, The Pool of Secrets (goofy pulpish tale)
    H. C. Bailey, The Swimming Pool (as Rick rightly said, goes on too long as typical for Bailey)
    Michael Innes, Death By Water
    E. W. Hornung, The Gift of the Emperor (I left this for last because I’m not a Raffles fan)

    In trying to decide what to read next, I decided to stay “historical” and started THE ARTHUR TRAIN MYSTERY MEGAPACK. Train is known (if he is, these days) for his creation of the clever lawyer Ephraim Tutt, though only the first of the ones I’ve read is a Tutt story, and quite interesting with the period setting (I believe the first Tutt stories came out in 1919) –
    The Shyster
    The Extraordinary Adventure of the Baron de Ville (silly story)
    The Governor-General’s Trunk (these two remind me a little of Simon Brett’s sillier books)
    The Jailbird

  2. The new Quartz countertop is installed. The new Delta faucet is installed. Today a contractor arrives to start installing the new backsplash and start painting the kitchen. I’m discombobulated with the disruptions these home improvements produce. I read another volume of Asimov & Greenberg’s THE GREAT SF STORIES. I read Ellen Datlow’s massive ECHOES, a collection of ghost stories. You read more short stories than I did in February…but I read more Big Fat Books!

    • Jeff Meyerson says:

      Can’t wait for the pictures when the kitchen is finished.

      We were in the library Saturday and I saw a copy of ECHOES. Just too big!

    • You’re having a lot of work done! Like Jeff, I’m eager for photos. You always read more than I do, so no surprise there. Only one of the novels I read was near to fat, the Michael Sullivan fantasy I posted on a few days ago.

  3. Jerry House says:

    I; read many of The Thinking Machine and The Great Merlini stories but still have a long way to go with each, and have read much less of Mr. Tutt — all of which I enjoy. Gotta start working on these.

    I read just one short story this week, Rick — Karin Slaughter & Lee Child’s “Cleaning the Gold,” which paired Will Trent with Jack Reacher. A good, slightly subversive tale, about the gold at Fort Knox.

    I also read GALWAY GIRL, the latest Jack Taylor novel by Ken Bruen, and A DANGEROUS MAN, an Elvis Cole and Joe Pike novel by Robert Crais. The Crais was a fast page-turner involving a thirty-year old witness protection case. The Bruen was another absolutely amazeballs entry in his dark, lyrical Jack Taylor saga — highly recommended.

    I’n on the final stretch of Lee Goldberg’s latest, LOST HILLS, a police procedural about the suspected murder of a mother, her two children, and the family dog. Rookie homicide cop Eve Ronin faces interdepartmental obstacles as she tries to suss out the truth behind a massive bloodbath with no bodies. Another good read.

    Stay safe and have a great week, my friend.

  4. tracybham says:

    Wow, over 50 short stories. I think I came close to 40 short stories which was good for me. I did locate several books of short stories that I have started but not finished, and I hope to work on those gradually.

  5. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    Been reading mostly novels and nonfiction last month. Probably about 25 short stories. Most recently some Alfred Bester and Samuel Delaney short story rereads.

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