Reviewed by MIKE TOONEY:

MARTIN EDWARDS, Editor – Motives for Murder: A Celebration of Peter Lovesey on His 80th Birthday by Members of the Detection Club. Crippen & Landru, November 2016. Introduction by Martin Edwards. Foreword by Len Deighton. Afterword by Peter Lovesey.

   Popular crime fiction writer Peter Lovesey recently turned eighty, a notable achievement in itself, and twenty of his friends at the Detection Club got together to produce this Festschrift in his honor. Editor Martin Edwards’ choice of selections is worthy of commendation, while Douglas Greene at Crippen & Landru has done his usual fine job assembling it all into a coherent whole.

   Some of the resulting stories knowingly reflect the milieus and characters that Lovesey has developed and explored over the years, the town of Bath and his historical mysteries especially so. Other tales by established authors, however, feature their own characters and settings, with sub-types running the gamut from domestic suspense to pure detection.

   As varied as the stories are, though, there isn’t a clunker in the bunch. As instances, we can point to Catherine Aird’s “The Walrus and the Spy,” which involves espionage and the solution of a knotty cipher; L. C. Tyler’s “The Trials of Margaret” is a black comedy pure and simple; Martin Edwards’ “Murder and Its Motives” centers on bibliographical criminality; Michael Jecks’ “Alive or Dead” plays with narrative time; John Malcolm’s “The Marquis Wellington Jug” explores Lovejoy territory while Michael Ridpath’s “The Super Recogniser of Vik” wanders poleward into Nordic Noir; Susan Moody’s “A Village Affair” echoes Miss Marple, just as Kate Charles’ “A Question of Identity” reflects Hitchcock.

   For devotees of the Sage of Baker Street there’s David Stuart Davies’ featherweight “The Adventure of the Marie Antoinette Necklace: A Case for Sherlock Holmes”; while for fans of Peter Lovesey’s Sergeant Cribb and Constable Thackeray there are David Roberts’ inconclusive “Unfinished Business” and, better still, Kate Ellis’s “The Mole Catcher’s Daughter,” with Thackeray’s nephew performing some simple but effective sleuthing; and finally our favorite, Andrew Taylor’s unpredictable “The False Inspector Lovesey,” with its delightfully spunky narrator leading us down the garden path.