This collection – Deadlier: 100 of the Best Crime Stories Written by Women (Head of Zeus Books 2017), compiled and edited by Sophie Hannah, is a great doorstop of a book, the size of two house bricks and with 1069 pages. Hannah has compiled stories of crime and detection by authors long-dead and those still living, all women, all with their own unique style, from primarily the UK, America and Australia. Contributors include Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Atwood, M.C. Beaton, Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark, Daphne du Maurier, Janet Evanovich, Nicci French, Patricia Highsmith, Faye Kellerman, Caroline Kepnes, Val McDermid, Gladys Mitchell, Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L. Sayers, Donna Tartt and Minette Walters.
The book features the Australian authors Ellen Davitt, Kerry Greenwood, Angela Savage, Emma Viskic and New Zealand author Ngaio Marsh.
I must confess I didn’t read this book from cover to cover and so can’t give a comprehensive review. But I did dip in and out at will, reading stories that took my fancy, and I did read all of the Australian contributors. Hannah has given readers a great selection from the mystery genre, stories that are puzzles, crimes that are undetected, sleuths that are everything from bumbling to genius. The short story fits the crime genre hand in glove – stories are the perfect length for a bite-sized read, and usually (although not always!) come to a nicely tied-up conclusion. This anthology features suspense, psychological thrillers and gritty whodunits from some of the best female crime writers. The styles and structures are as varied as the contributors.
I’ve seen this book priced very competitively for such a large tome! It would make a perfect gift for the crime reader in your life.