Whodunit? : Detective Stories

3.52 (71 ratings by Goodreads)
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Unexplained disappearances, daring thefts, perplexing mysteries, and the greatest sleuths of all time combine in this page-turning read. From Sherlock Holmes to Hercule Poirot, famous detectives puzzle their way through a maze of alibis and motives in this superb selection of classic and contemporary crime fiction.show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 270 pages
  • 129.54 x 187.96 x 20.32mm | 249.47g
  • Kingfisher
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0753461420
  • 9780753461426
  • 271,668

About Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman is an award-winning best-selling author. "'The Golden Compass"', part of the Dark Materials trilogy, has garnered critical acclaim throughout the world and will soon be a major motion picture.show more

Review quote

Children's Literature The game is afoot for mystery-minded readers who dare to ponder enigmas and puzzles presented in this sampler. Examples of both classic and modern detective tales are included to provide readers with access to notable literary detective writers and their sleuths' diverse investigative styles. Compiler Philip Pullman notes in his introduction how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes's short story, "The Speckled Band," the first tale in this collection, impacted him with its terrifying revelations. Pullman introduces each of the sixteen sections with a brief reason for their inclusion and significance to detective literature. Several of the authors' names, particularly Agatha Christie and Isaac Asimov, may be familiar to young North American readers, while others, including German-author Erich Kastner and Englishman E.C. Bentley, might be unknown. "The One-Handed Murderer," based on an Italian folktale, provides a variation on how mystery stories are presented to audiences. Raymond Smullyan's "From the Files of Inspector Craig" offers clues to test readers' logic, with solutions included at this anthology's conclusion. In addition to fiction, an excerpt from Tony Fletcher's "Memories of Murder," describes how his police colleagues attempted to fingerprint a ghost. This satisfying collection will inspire readers to seek additional works by these authors. Read with the anthology "Great Writers & Kids Write Mystery Stories" (1996) edited by Martin H. Greenberg, Jill M. Morgan, and Robert Weinberg. Reviewer: Elizabeth D. Schafer VOYA Readers attracted by Pullman's famous moniker will be disappointed to realize this volume, which was first published inGreat Britain in 1998, has merely been selected by him and does not contain any tales of his own creation. Nonetheless it is a fine collection of mostly classic tales that will help readers bridge the gap between mysteries written for children and the world of adult detective fiction. Pullman's choices include stories by Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Damon Runyon, Isaac Asimov, Italo Calvino, and Stephen Leacock, among others. As Pullman discusses in his two-page introduction, these stories reflect his own preference for puzzles vested in an interesting world-sometimes the world of an archaeologist unearthing ancient ruins in Egypt and other times the busy hubbub of a modern airport. Although the narrators and protagonists represent an interesting range of viewpoints, from the admiring tone of the infamous Watson to the gruff and colloquial voice of petty gangsters or the witty dinner conversation of a gentleman magician and his friends, the selection greatly lacks female voices and investigators. The sixteen tales represent some of traditional detective fiction's best elements rather than showcase the variety of modern approaches to the genre and its nearly infinite flexibility. Reviewer: Megan Lynn Isaacshow more

Rating details

71 ratings
3.52 out of 5 stars
5 7% (5)
4 56% (40)
3 23% (16)
2 10% (7)
1 4% (3)
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