Author: Philip Pullman
Page Count/Review Word Count: 271
Philip Pullman is a writer of extraordinary talent, and so I’d be willing to take his judgement in most matters of art and literature. Here, he reveals sixteen of his favourite detective stories, featuring some of the greatest sleuths of all-time including Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and Sam Spade.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first picked this up, but I quickly settled in – in fact, the first story in the collection is The Speckled Band, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s best Sherlock Holmes short stories. That was followed by They Can Only Hang You Once by Dashiell Hammett and The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb by Agatha Christie, both of which are fantastic short stories which will leave you begging for more.
One of the more intriguing short stories in the collection is a non-fiction piece by Tony Fletcher – ever heard of him? I don’t blame you if you haven’t – he’s an ex-copper, who wrote about his experience on the force in Memories of Murder. This particular piece recounts the story of an ex-colleague, a veteran of the force, who was called in to fingerprint a ghost – whether you believe in the supernatural or not (I don’t), it makes for interesting reading.
And that’s not all – other authors to contribute to the collection include Dorothy L. Sayers, Isaac Asimov, Raymond Smullyan, Michael Underwood and Leslie Charteris. Even if you’re not a fan of the traditional detective story, this is well worth a read – who knows? You might even get hooked!