short stories – Golden Age Detective Stories

Golden Age Detective Stories edited by Otto Penzler, Penzler Publishers June 2021 trade paper, mystery short story anthology, a volume of Otto Penzler Presents American Mystery Classics

I’ve been reading mystery fiction in both long and short form for many decades, and sometimes it seems a toss-up which I like better, the novel in which the author can develop a character-filled cast and detailed setting, or the short story where we are led straight into things and a conclusion, hopefully satisfying, is soon reached.

This anthology of 14 short stories is packed with classic stories from the top writers of the period.


  1. The Enemy by Charlotte Armstrong. (1951) Mike Russell
  2. The Stripper by Anthony Boucher. (1947) Sister Ursula.
  3. Postiche by Mignon C. Eberhart (1935) Susan Dare
  4. The Case of the Crimson Kiss by Erle Stanley Gardner (1948) Perry Mason
  5. The Enchanted Garden by H.F. Heard (1949) Mr. Mycroft
  6. 5-4=murderer by Baynard Kendrick (1953) Captain Duncan Maclain
  7. There’s Death for Remembrance by Francis & Richard Lockridge (1955) Pamela & Jerry North.
  8. The Monkey Murder by Stuart Palmer (1947) Hildegarde Withers
  9. The Adventure of the African Traveler by Ellery Queen (1934) Ellery Queen
  10. Puzzle for Poppy by Patrick Quentin (1946) Peter and Iris Duluth
  11. From Another World by Clayton Rawson (1948) The Great Merlini
  12. Goodbye. Goodbye! By Craig Rice (1946) John J. Malone
  13. Locked Doors by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1925) Hilda Adams
  14. Mystery in Room 913 : The Suicide Room by Cornell Woolrich (1938) Striker

A good selection of Golden Age mysteries, and with each story there comes a short author biography. It’s available in both hardcover and paperback, I bought the latter. This is the short story anthology I’m about to start, to read between novels that have been coming in from the library.

It’s still hotter than I like, the mid-to-high 80s, and it’s very dry. We’ve had wind, and there are wildfires burning all over the Pacific Northwest.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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10 Responses to short stories – Golden Age Detective Stories

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    It’s Pam & Jerry North, not Norton.

    Looks like a good collection, as Otto’s generally are. I don’t recognize all the titles, but I have probably read a good number of these – if I had to guess I would say pretty sure on Boucher, Gardner, Heard, Palmer, Queen, Quentin, Rawson, Rice, Woolrich, and possibly others. I have been reading more “classic” (as opposed to contemporary) mystery stories lately, so would not mind revisiting this group. Glad to see it is not all the usual suspects you tend to see.

    Good choice.

    • Of course it is. I corrected it. I did a cut/paste of the TOC from elsewhere and missed that when I proofed, so thanks. I’m looking forward to reading this one, though I have read some of them already.

  2. Jerry House says:

    I’v read at least eight of these stories, Rick — all very good. I am especially fond of Armstrong’s “The Enemy, ” which was woven with Armstrong’s distinct magic and has stuck with me for decades. I’ll be getting this book soonest. Thanks.

  3. 1412064gk says:

    I’ve read other books in this series and enjoyed them. Like Jerry, I’ll be ordering this book today. Thanks for the heads up!

  4. tracybham says:

    I had read about this collection, but had not seen a list of the stories. It looks like a very good selection of stories, and only a couple that I might have in other collections. Maybe three. I must have read more vintage British short stories than US. I hope you enjoy reading these.

    I am sorry it is still hot there. I am amazed that our temperatures have not been higher. We often have our hottest temperatures in September or October, but not always.

    • This looks to be a good one. It’s hot by my standards, but nothing like the awful heat we had before, when we were in triple digits. I’m still reading the SF anthology, and two others, but I’ll get to this one soon Meanwhile, the library has sent several things my way, and with a time limit I always try to read those first.

  5. Todd Mason says:

    Nicely portable, given how many of the Penzler anthologies in recent years have been bug-crushers…the “Rice” arguably a bit late for what is usually cited as “golden age” mysteries…but golden ages are endlessly arguable.

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