this is the 103rd in my series of forgotten or seldom read books
The Mankiller of Poojegai by Walter Satterthwait © 2007, Crippen & Landru 2007 hardcover – mystery short story collection
This is one of the many fine mystery short story collections published by Crippen & Landru in their two series. The first series is new collections, the second is the Lost Classics books. This is one of the new collections.
I’ve enjoyed many books by Satterthwait over the years, but had not read any of his short stories until this collection until now. This collection has 11 stories and an introduction by the author. Here are stories about the Neanderthal sleuth, Berthold the Mead Master (narrated by his companion Doder); Lord Byron and his days at Missolonghi; Sergeant Andrew Mbutu in modern Africa (particularly good); and contemporary investigators Grober and Joshua Croft. Also a gentle satire on the Golden Age of fictional detecting with an unexpected sleuth, and other stories.
Collections are often up-and-down things, with some very good stories and some not so good ones. Not this one. I liked all but one of these (probably just me) and liked them quite a lot. Satterthwait is an accomplished story teller, and in the short form he manages to create character, setting and a well developed plot in a few pages, not an easy task.
There are only two stories here that feature the same characters, the first, “Murder One” and the final story in the book, “The Mankiller of Poojegai”. The rest are about various other characters. This a fine collection, highly recommended.
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The rest of this week’s Friday Forgotten Book posts
can be found at Evan Lewis’ blog HERE