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Publisher's Summary

This anthology of rare stories of crime and suspense brings together a selection of rare tales by masters of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction for the first time in book form, including a newly discovered Agatha Christie crime story that has not been seen since 1922.

At a time when crime and thriller writing has once again overtaken the sales of general and literary fiction, Bodies from the Library unearths lost stories from the Golden Age, that period between the World Wars when detective fiction captured the public’s imagination and saw the emergence of some of the world’s cleverest and most popular storytellers.

This audio anthology brings together the majority of forgotten tales from the book Bodies from the Library, from the 1920s to the 1950s, by masters of the Golden Age including Cyril Hare, Freeman Wills Crofts and A. A. Milne,

Most anticipated of all are the contributions by women writers: the first detective story by Georgette Heyer, unseen since 1923; an unpublished story by Christianna Brand, creator of Nanny McPhee; and a dark tale by Agatha Christie published only in an Australian journal in 1922 during her ‘Grand Tour’ of the British Empire.

With other stories by Detection Club stalwarts Anthony Berkeley, H. C. Bailey, J. J. Connington and John Rhode, plus Vincent Cornier, Leo Bruce, Roy Vickers and Arthur Upfield, this essential collection harks back to a time before forensic science - when murder was a complex business.

©2018 Half-Eaten © Nikesh Shukla; Thicker Than Blood © Erin Kelly (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

two stories missing

I have enjoyed the stories I have listened to in this audiobook. But, a warning: There are two stories missing from this audiobook that are present in the print or Kindle version:

Calling James Brithwaite by Nicholas Blake

AND

Blind Man's Bluff by Ernest Brauch

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great collection of stories!

This is a great collection of stories by really talented authors, and the reader did a great job. I enjoyed it immensely!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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wow. fun read or should I say listen

all those wonderful writers in the Golden Age of Mysteries in one place is a treat. Hope there are more of these anthologies to come. I was mad for Lord Peter upon my first reading of Dorothy Sayers and his friends and fifty + years later nothing has changed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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HOW GOOD? I NEVER USE ALL CAPS, THAT’S HOW GOOD.

To rescue lost tales of malfeasance penned in crime fiction’s Golden Age is, in and of itself, highly laudable. Listening to them is like floating on a cotton candy cloud over an ocean of bliss. But beyond the unadulterated enjoyment of these 14 stories, Tony Medawar has done people like me another very great service.

I enjoy a good Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie or Josephine Tey. However, once familiar with each writer, I pine for other voices. Problem is, those other voices, though prominent in their time, aren’t very well known now (at least not to me); selecting from their works is, to use an appropriate metaphor, a shot in the dark.

Now I know better. Bodies from the Library is a sort of criminal sampler, wherein we get a good taste of John Rhode, Christianna Brand, Arthur W. Upfield, Freeman Wills Crofts, Georgette Heyer, Anthony Berkley, A. A. Milne (yes, that A. A. Milne) and C. Day Lewis, writing under the name of Nicholas Blake (like P. G. Wodehouse’s Percy Gorringe, Lewis found that crime paid better than verse). It's not just the story, of course, that sets these stories apart. It's the writing, the characters, the good humor, the overall sense of serious fun. And the best part? Specimens from each author named are available on Audible. And if that wasn’t enough, Phillip Bretherton’s performance behind the mic is pretty darn near perfection. He is a reader to whom it is a joy to listen.

The only fly in this grade-A ointment is an occasional but silly political correctness. Before one story we are warned, for example, of offensive attitudes about race. Ironically, the offending passage gives credit to Aborigines and Europeans for their salient strengths as detectives (diversity, right?). More, it is spoken by a man descended from both races, explaining his own superior powers of detection. If not forewarned, I don’t think I’d have noticed it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Light but a pleasurable look into this genre from the paxt.

Nothing too profound, but great writing and fun stories. I also loved the narrator whose voice is soothing and f
has a variety of accents. There are also short bios of the site after each story. Just a delight!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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2 stories definitely missing

"Calling James Braithwaite" by Nicholas Blake and "Blind Man's Bluff" by Ernest Bramah are in the index of the printed version, but no included here! Audible should update its version to include the whole compendium! Otherwise a 5 star all around.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Masterful classic mystery

Enjoyed hearing short unknown works by some of my favorite classical mystery writers of days gone by. Some reads are just timeless for enjoyment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bethany
  • PHOENIX, AZ, United States
  • 12-09-18

Excellent compilation

This book introduced me several authors who I haven't ever read...and who are now added to my watch list. Audible has a few of these authors in their collection and I am hopeful that when the 2nd edition of this compilation becomes available more of these authors will be available in the U.S.

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  • Mr Chops
  • 09-24-18

Very well chosen selection

The author bios in between each of the stories are just as interesting and really make this a book worth buying.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • JACQUI
  • 09-06-18

excellent

old fashioned mysteries. All similar high society wealthy greedy murder stories. However loved every one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • SuzHam
  • 07-29-18

24 Carat Golden Age

WOW! Absolutely blown away by this audiobook. If you love the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, then this is a must. Wonderful stories read by a brilliant narrator. One of my favourite audiobooks!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fes
  • 10-31-18

Very good short stories

Very entertaining murder mystery short stories. I enjoyed all of them! Made me want to hear more.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mgn
  • 10-29-18

Absolutely loved it

This is an excellent collection of short stories by prominent writers, well written and thoroughly engaging. Despite my decades long interest in detective fiction of the golden age, I had not read any of these before.

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  • Mr. Stephen Lloyd
  • 10-23-18

New and Old

a few old stories I had never read and so were fresh to my ears, So overall very good stories to listen too good cast too