Murder at the Manor is a collection of mystery stories. I am not the short story type person, the only exceptions being Jeffrey Archer’s collections like Twelve Red Herrings or Twist in the Tale. But after reading and enjoying a bunch of reprinted old mysteries by Posined Pen press this year, I decided to give it a try.
I think Witness for the Prosecution may be the only ‘short’ I have read belonging to the mystery genre, that too long ago. As the name suggests here, the setting is a British classic mystery setting. And at least some mysteries must be in a manor house type situation.
According to me, the problem with mysteries in a short story format is that there is not enough time or not enough words to actually establish a background. What I enjoy about classic mysteries is that the story begins slowly, we get to know the cast of characters, form our own opinions about them. then the crime is committed. Red herrings are strewn. Some investigator appears, and our preconceived ideas are either trashed or proved right. either way, we turn the pages frantically while chewing our nails. The short story does not give much opportunity for all this.
One of the stories I liked was about the Druid Circle and the blood on the steps. Then there is the one where a couple of apprentices come to a shattering inference about the case they are investigating.
Overall, I think this is a good book to read when you are on the go or in a hurry, when you want a slice of the mystery story but cannot be immersed in a big book.