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.