reading short stories – Nov 17, 2021

I’ve finished Guilty Creatures, continued the Simenon collection and started on a new collection by Andrea Camilleri. You may notice in the cover gallery that the cover images move to the left as I continue and then finish a book. 

“The Man Who Hated Earthworms” (1921) by Edgar Wallace from Guilty Creatures – a scientist spent a decade working on a formula to kill, all for revenge.

“The Courtyard of the Fly” (1935) by Vincent Cornier from Guilty Creatures – a fabulously valuable pearl necklace is carried away by…a fly. But is it?

“The Yellow Slugs” (1935) by H. C. Bailey from Guilty Creatures – a Reggie Fortune story in which it appears a dishonest boy, morally hounded by his fundamentalist step father, tries to drown his little sister. When Fortune visits the children, who have been pulled from the water, he sees them scared, undernourished and self-deprecating. But, what’s really going on? The elderly lodger at the children’s shabby house has disappeared. Chilling.

“Pit of Screams” (1938 as “Pit of Punishment) by Garnett Radcliffe from Guilty Creatures – a story told, “Once when I was in India…” about a cruel Raj, an innocent clerk, a pit of vipers.

“Hanging By A Hair” (1950) by Clifford Witting from Guilty Creatures – the author’s only published short story. Cat hair, it can get everywhere, even into a murder investigation.

“The Man Who Shot Birds” (1954) by Mary Fitt (Kathleen Freeman) from Guilty Creatures – the robbery of a valuable diamond pin, an inquisitive medical student and a half-tame Jackdaw combine in this simple story. Shiny things…

“Death In A Cage” (1958) by Josephine Bell (Doris Bell Collier) from Guilty Creatures – a baby gorilla is stolen from the zoo on the same night a tramp is killed. I found the motive for the crimes unconvincing.

“The Man Who Loved Animals” (1965) by Penelope Wallace from Guilty Creatures – a wonderful old man is cruelly fooled. Good story but I didn’t like what happened in it.

“The Hornet’s Nest” (1967) by Christianna Brand from Guilty Creatures I’d read this one before. The hornets are used only a referencery way. The story is about a cruel man, his new young bride and a death at the wedding reception. Inspector Cockerill is on the job.

    • A note on Guilty Creatures anthology: I liked this one very much, and can recommend it. Edwards’ single page introductions to each story add a lot.

“The Men at the Grande Café” (1940) by Georges Simenon, from Death Threats and Other Stories – Retired Inspector Maigret plays cards with the same men each afternoon. When one of them is killed, everyone expects him to solve the murder, but he doesn’t want to get involved.

“Room Number 2” by Andrea Camilleri, from Death At Sea: Mantalbano’s Early Cases – an hotel fire is likely to be arson, but what is the motive?

“Double Investigation” by Andrea Camilleri, from Death At Sea: Mantalbano’s Early Cases – A rich woman, known to be carrying a large sum, disappears, apparently kidnapped. But no ransom is asked, and Inspector Mantalbano has more than one possible suspect in mind.

“Death At Sea” by Andrea Camilleri, from Death At Sea: Mantalbano’s Early Cases – an accidental shooting on a fishing trawler reveals a possible smuggling plot.


About Rick Robinson

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

7 Responses to reading short stories – Nov 17, 2021

  1. tracybham says:

    These all sound good and have very nice covers. I will definitely have to get to the Guilty Creatures anthology someday. I don’t have the collection of stories by Camilleri that you are reading but I am now reading short stories from the collection I have that starts with Montalbano’s First Case. I have read 4 or 5 additional stories so far and enjoyed them all.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    GOod list and these are all on my list. Lately you’ve been finding and getting these collections before they turn up here, sometimes before I’ve even heard of them! I’ve noticed that Edwards tends to include a Reggie Fortune story (which tend to be longer than the average short story) in each of his collections. I’ve never read a Fortune novel (by H. C. Bailey) but have read a bunch of his short stories now. But the big surprise this time was the new Montalbano collection, which I didn’t know existed. I have (and have read) MONTALBANO’S FIRST CASE, the earlier big collection of his stories. I was able to download the new one from the library, because I don’t have enough to read. (Ha)

    Short story collections seem to keep popping up and I keep buying or borrowing them. I got the Hilma Wolitzer collection from the library with the great title TODAY A WOMAN WENT MAD IN THE SUPERMARKET. I bought another collection of Ed Hoch’s non series stories (THE NIGHT MY FRIEND) and a collection (MONOGAMY) by Marly Swick (in transit), and just got the new Crippen & Landru Lost Classics Collection by Stuart Palmer, HILDEGARDE WITHERS: FINAL RIDDLES?

    And I am not yet reading any of these. Reading Patricia Highsmith’s SLOWLY, SLOWLY IN THE WIND, a pretty good collection so far, though of course there are pretty dark stories as you’d expect. Also still trying to read THE BIG BOOK OF GHOST STORIES, edited by Otto Penzler, which has to be returned in a few days. You can’t renew a Kindle book so I might take it out again, or just leave it where I am. Also reading Ed Hoch’s non series collection THE NIGHT PEOPLE and Other Stories, though since I own that I might put it aside and read the Camilleri book first.

    • Jeff, it’s rare when I come across something before you’re aware of it, so I doubt it will happen often. I’m not sure where I saw mention of the Camilleri collection, but I’m really enjoying it. I have coming from the library the Highsmith animal collection you read and recommended. I’ll probably get it today or tomorrow. I saw that Penzler, but ghost stories aren’t a favorite of mine.

  3. 1412064gk says:

    I’m impressed by the number of short stories you’re reading lately. As you know, Jeff Meyerson and I try to read a short story per day. I have some Big Fat Books to read over the Thanksgiving weekend. Diane is about to start the Louise Penny/Hillary Clinton book.

    • I’ll never keep up with you guys, so I don’t try. But I decided to read short stories in November and have read quite a few. We have that book Diane is reading on hold. She just read Zero Fail, by Carol Leonnig, it’s the history of the Secret Service.

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