Murder at the Manor is another high-quality collection of classic British mystery stories, many of which have seldom, if ever, been collected before. The book provides a spread of carefully constructed puzzles, full of crazed killers, cunning planners, rogues, and wit. There are locked room murders, hidden passages, and strange poisons in play. As the title implies, all of the mysteries take place in that familiar setting: the manor house. Set in a world of its own and large enough to hold a number of family members, servants, and guests, the house and grounds provide plenty of room for murder and suspicion.
In tone, the tales range from the serious work of Anthony Berkely in “The Mystery of Hornes Copse” and to the light-hearted parody of “The Murder at the Towers” where E. V. Knox gleefully trots out every possibly mystery trope while still constructing a solid puzzle. G. K. Chesterton is present as well, though not with his familiar detective, Father Brown. Instead, Dr. Adrian Hyde takes the role of sleuth in the wholly unexpected “The White Pillars Murder.” The sleuths themselves range from the respectable to the raffish, each clever and generally accompanied by a sidekick who is slightly less so. The collection is good for the detective fan to keep on hand for when reading time is scarce and there is only time for a short story—or for gobbling down at once because it is too good to wait.
Fans of Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and G. K. Chesterton will enjoy this selection of mysteries from their peers and will find new authors to treasure.