GEORGE HARDINGE, Editor – Winter’s Crimes 9. St. Martin’s Press, US, hardcover, 1978. First published in the UK by Macmillan, hardcover, 1977.

   The contents page, and for that matter, the front cover, is a veritable who’s who of contemporary British mystery writers. Not all of these authors are well known in this country, yet, but along with the less familiar names are ones like Geoffrey Household, Patricia Highsmith, and Ruth Rendell that are known to mystery readers everywhere.

   The twelve stories here are originals, written especially for this collection, but even if they had been scoured up as the best of the year from everywhere else, they could hardly be of any greater quality. What we’re given is in fact a cross-section of current crime fiction, with tales ranging from the pure detective puzzle proposed by Colin Dexter to the subtle domestic affair tinged with bitter irony that James McClure writes about, in which crime has only the most tenuous connection.

   A definite must for fans of the short story.

NOTE: For the record, the other authors are: Celia Dale, Elizabeth Ferrars, Derek Robinson, John Wainwright, Martin Woodhouse, Margaret Yorke, and P. B. Yuill.

— Reprinted from The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 3, No. 1, Jan-Feb 1979.