Mystery & Mayhem: Twelve Deliciously Intriguing Mysteries by Katherine Woodfine

Received from NetGalley for review.

3.5 stars

I loved this concept – a collection of twelve mystery stories with a wild variety of settings, characters, and time periods by twelve authors (all women, woo!), some of whom I have read before and loved. This is an incredibly fun collection as it challenges the reader to figure out the mysteries before the characters, something that I thoroughly enjoyed trying to do and succeeded in a few times – some of the characters are from a full novel or series, so you can delve further into their world if you wish. So many people are going to love this collection – regardless of age – as the mystery genre is so popular, and probably always will be, although there stories largely employ humour rather than darkness. I know that I thoroughly enjoyed reading the different stories (although not all of them particularly stood out to me).

My favourites were: The Mystery of the Green Room by Clémentine Beauvais, Mel Foster and the Hound of the Baskervilles by Julia Golding, God’s Eye by Frances Hardinge, and The Murder of Monsieur Pierre by Harriet Whitehorn.

Emily and the Detectives by Susie Day – 3/5 stars

Rain on my Parade by Elen Caldecott – 3/5 stars

The Mystery of the Green Room by Clémentine Beauvais – 4/5 stars. Absolutely hilarious! Accidental canary deaths, a dead yet sneaky Uncle, and his conveniently murdered brother? Golden.

The Mystery of Diablo Canyon Circle by Caroline Lawrence – 3.5/5 stars

Mel Foster and the Hound of the Baskervilles by Julia Golding – 4/5 stars. Monster Resistance? Hell yes! Sherlock, the Baskerville story re-done, monstrous detectives.

Dazzle, Dog Biscuits and Disaster by Kate Pankhurst – 2/5 stars

God’s Eye by Frances Hardinge – 4/5 stars. Spies, artists, poison, hidden agendas. Frances Hardinge is a literary goddess and this short story is no different – she has a way of crafting words into vivid pictures with ease.

The Mystery of the Pineapple Plot by Helen Moss – 3/5 stars. Very silly, but clever nonetheless.

The Murder of Monsieur Pierre by Harriet Whitehorn – 4/5 stars. Quarrelling French hairdressers, jealous wives, secret children, belladonna. Another fantastic story.

Safe-Keeping by Sally Nicholls – 1/5 stars. The only story I didn’t finish. I couldn’t get past the use of ‘was’ and ‘what’ instead of ‘were’ and ‘that’; I’m sure it works in the story but I can’t read it from a first person narrative without cringing.

The Mystery of the Purloined Pearls by Katherine Woodfine – 3/5 stars

The Mystery of Room 12 by Robin Stevens – 3/5 stars

Read: May 1st-2nd 2016

3.5/5 stars


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