Pick Three: Golden Age Collections

Three Golden Age Mystery Collections

This month I’ve committed to reading and reviewing every Agatha Christie novel and short story — in order. Have you already finished Christie’s body of work? Here are three collections of stories by other amazing Golden Age mystery authors, all known for twisty plots, devilish puzzles, and fantastic solutions. Each is edited by Otto Penzler, proprietor of New York City’s infamous The Mysterious Bookshop.

Golden Age Detective Stories

A fantastic introduction to the quiet giants of the Golden Age. The collection includes stories by Erle Stanley Gardner, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Cornell Woolrich, Anthony Boucher, and Ellery Queen — among others. Think of it as a tasting menu of the best of a generation. A perfect way to expand your reading horizons one tasty bite at a time.

Golden Age Bibliomysteries

The first of 24 novels starring Rendell’s intelligent and observant Inspector Wexford. This one shows its 1960s roots — what was thought shocking then may seem more obvious now, but they have aged beautifully. Each volume offers a window into a specific time in Britain’s post World War II evolution. A solid series with an engaging protagonist.

Golden Age Locked Room Mysteries

Nothing says peak Golden Age quite like a locked room murder. A dead body found in a room securely locked from within, but how? While Christie wrote several (including the much-debated Hercule Poirot’s Christmas), John Dickson Carr was the master of the trope. This volume includes 14 outstanding examples by Carr, Clayton Rawson, Stuart Palmer, and more. Prepare to be baffled then amazed by the impossible crimes and the ingenious solutions.

Love a good murder? Be sure to take a stab at Thou Shalt Not Kilt, a traditional Southern whodunnit with Scottish flavor. For my latest news and updates, follow me on Instagram and TikTok. Sign up for Fatal Fiction, my monthly mystery newsletter, and you’ll get a free download of Masters of Murder, my concise guide to the authors of mystery’s Golden Age.

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Masters of Murder by Liam Ashe