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The Best Crime Stories Ever Told | [Dorothy L. Sayers (editor)]

The Best Crime Stories Ever Told

When acclaimed mystery writer Dorothy L. Sayers first began compiling anthologies of the best crime stories in the 1920s and ’30s, the genre was in the flush of its first golden age. While it is hard to imagine today - after every possible mystery plot has been told, retold, subverted, and played straight again by hundreds of writers over nearly a century - in Sayers’s day there were still twists that had never been seen, and machinations of crime that would shock even jaded Jazz Age fans.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Being an acclaimed mystery writer herself, Dorothy L. Sayers knows a thing or two about what makes a story captivating. In this anthology of short fiction, Sayers compiles over 30 of the best mysteries from the early 1900s, a veritable golden age for the genre. Robin Bloodworth and Suehyla El Attar perform with a robust gusto, clearly reveling in these classic tales by such luminaries as Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, and H. G. Wells. Listeners will be thrilled by the many treasures unearthed in The Best Crime Stories Ever Told.

Publisher's Summary

When acclaimed mystery writer Dorothy L. Sayers first began compiling anthologies of the best crime stories in the 1920s and ’30s, the genre was in the flush of its first golden age. While it is hard to imagine today - after every possible mystery plot has been told, retold, subverted, and played straight again by hundreds of writers over nearly a century - in Sayers’s day there were still twists that had never been seen, and machinations of crime that would shock even jaded Jazz Age fans.

Now today’s fans of mystery and crime can experience a handpicked collection of over thirty of the most outstanding stories from this era, originally chosen by Sayers and newly introduced by Otto Penzler, a leading expert and connoisseur in the field of mystery literature. As a prolific writer of the genre, Sayers understood the difficulty of putting together a mystery that was not only sufficiently challenging (so that the solution was not immediately obvious to the listener), but also solvable without forcing the writer to cheat. That balance between opacity and solvability remains the greatest challenge of writing great crime stories - and these are some of the greatest.

Authors appearing in this collection include:

  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Herman Melville
  • H. G. Wells
  • Wilkie Collins
  • Stephen Crane
  • J. S. Le Fanu

©2012 Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. Introduction copyright © 2012 by Otto Penzler (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    Richard Santee, CA, United States 08-08-13
    Richard Santee, CA, United States 08-08-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Not what it claimes"

    while the first short story is a great crime twister quality falls of in the following short stories which are so so paranormal.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cinde New Braunfels, TX, United States 06-21-13
    Cinde New Braunfels, TX, United States 06-21-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Don't bother if you hate fake British accents."

    Robin Bloodworth has almost singlehandedly ruined one of my favorite genres. The stories are intriguing, but I can't get past that voice. Fake British accent, drawling to the point of driving someone, who loves legit British accents, mad. In his regular voice he sounds OK American. I'm a diehard Sayers fan. Or at least I was.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Mt. Eliza, Australia 03-31-14
    Carol Mt. Eliza, Australia 03-31-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
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    "Love Dorothy L Sayers"
    What disappointed you about The Best Crime Stories Ever Told?

    What a disappointment, I love the crime books of Sayers, However, this collection degenerated into an anthology of ghost stories - not interested in Ghost stories and the write up should perhaps have been a bit more explanatory.


    Has The Best Crime Stories Ever Told turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No - The book is not a collection of Crime Stories.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Robin Bloodworth and Suehyla El Attar ?

    Any one else would have been better as a narrator, he is particularly hard to listen to and the material did not help.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not really, it was long and I felt I had to give it a chance, but half way through book 3 I gave up. I wanted crime not ghost stories or philosophizing.


    Any additional comments?

    Audible should perhaps give a more accurate write up. The least favourite book I have chosen so far, but I guess there are going to be books I don't love. Having said that someone who liked this genre may love the book, I just felt a little cheated - by Sayers - is that a little weird?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina Seattle, WA, United States 98109 11-09-13
    Regina Seattle, WA, United States 98109 11-09-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lot of duds, some gems"

    If you like bobbing for apples when most are duds and the chance of getting a mouth full of mealy monster mush is guaranteed, you're ready to buy "Best Crime Stories" edited by Dorothy Sayers.

    Most of these stories take place before crime writing came into its own. We get loads of gentlemen sleuths: pipe puffing know-it-alls who lack the quirky charm of Sherlock but like him steamroll over dumb cops to get the answers.

    Then there are ghost stories, lots and lots. Speaking beyond the grave. Rattling the china. Scaring the horses. Edgar Allen Poe is not at his best here. He's trying out his themes of romantic loss and obsession without the crisp architecture of his best tales. The gems? Almost worth it for the Stephen Crane, the H.G. Wells and the Melville. That's about two good hours out of twenty. Is this a recommendation? Depends on how bored you're willing to be.

    No complaints about the narrators.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results
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  • LM Meiland
    London, UK
    11/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not great for British English speakers"
    What disappointed you about The Best Crime Stories Ever Told?

    Sadly, even though the reader obviously put in a lot of effort, the accents and voices he used were terrible. All the Europeans sounded like bastardised Arnold Schwarzenegger and the British accents were painful. I'm giving it back. I couldn't get into a single story because I kept waiting for the dreadful voices.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Pixel
    cornwall
    10/16/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "On The Cheap"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The stories are probably alright but the narration id dreadful.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Better narration


    How could the performance have been better?

    It could not be worse.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I shall be returning this book of stories.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • helen
    st albans, United Kingdom
    10/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very misleading title"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    people who like stories of the supernatural


    What will your next listen be?

    a henning mankell novel


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Robin Bloodworth and Suehyla El Attar ?

    Sean Bennett


    What character would you cut from The Best Crime Stories Ever Told?

    all of them


    Any additional comments?

    the title of this book is completely misleading as most of the stories were stories of the supernatural, and had nothing to do with crime. I'm very surprised that Dorothy L. Sayers was associated with this book. Also, the narrator is American and pretending to be English. In this respect, he just couldn't do it, although he was otherwise a very good narrator. This wouldn't have made it under the trades descriptions act, but I suppose it's exempt.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lesley
    Triangle, United Kingdom
    9/24/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great stories - bad reading"
    What would have made The Best Crime Stories Ever Told better?

    I feel sad that Dorothy L Sayers' selections are being read by a man who drawls his words in an unsustained but in any case execrable British accent. I dread the female voice and, in any case, am so alienated by the male reader I may not get that far.So, to improve would mean re-recording with the reader having an accent suitable to the stories and capable of empathy with their content.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Best Crime Stories Ever Told?

    Should I get to the end I'll amend this review.


    How could the performance have been better?

    See above.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Best Crime Stories Ever Told?

    It's hard to tell as the reading is so bad I can hardly concentrate on content.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results

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