The Crime Writer’s Association presents a new anthology titled Vintage Crime, which celebrates members’ work over the years. Edited by Martin Edwards, who has been editing the anthology since 1996, this collection goes back to the mid-1950s and moves forward into the twenty-first century. It includes many award-winning and nominated stories, making it the perfect read for crime fiction lovers looking for some great stories to spend their days reading.
This new anthology is actually a bit of a shift for the CWA with it shifting back to stories that are not more modern. They had been focusing on more recent fiction, but this draws from the idea of earlier anthologies. These would often include reprinted stories, one of these particular stories appears again in this new anthology. There is something for everyone within this anthology with the stories spanning a variety of time periods and types of crime. As someone who not only enjoys crime fiction, but someone who loves short story collections this was the perfect book for me.
Within this collection of stories I have selected just three to discuss to give you an idea of just some of what you can find within Vintage Crime. “The Woman Who Had Everything” by Celia Fremlin is about a woman named Maggie who feels underappreciated by her husband. She constantly makes plans to try and get him to think she has attempted suicide or put herself in danger, which will lead to news headlines and attention for her, even if she might not be alive to experience it. As the story progresses we learn of previous attempts and then we get to her most recent and final attempt. This attempt though ties into an actual crime and does lead to the headlines she always wanted. It is a curious story that focuses on someone who hopes to be in essence a sensation, but doesn’t expect what ultimately happens.
Andrew Taylor also presents a story focused on a wife and her feelings about her life. “The Woman Who Loved Elizabeth David” involves a wife, the other woman, and a professional cookbook writer. Anne’s husband Charles has died and after his death she begins spending time with a woman named Marina, who loves the recipes of Elizabeth David. The two women begin cooking for each other and during this we learn that Anne is not doing this entirely out of friendship. She hides a rat in Marina’s home in order to make her home smell. Then as her actions evolve she becomes focused on her husband’s brother, who knew of things that involved Charles and another woman. This story is surprising and I enjoyed seeing it from Anne’s point of view.
The final story I wanted to showcase is “The Perfect Alibi” by Paula Gosling. Two policemen are in a bar and the sergeant is sort of regaling the younger man with a curious case where a man had the perfect alibi. This one is short and fun, with the perfect alibi being something you absolutely would not expect. This one is a bit short and is just such a fun little crime story. You can get your copy of Vintage Crime today!