Short stories have been experiencing a comeback for some time now, but it was at the end of last year when The New Yorker‘s “Cat Person” became one of the most read literary texts on the Internet that we all had to agree: Short stories are genius. As a reader of crime fiction, criminal short stories represent one of the most successful times in the history of literature for the genre, with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes short stories leading the way, and closely followed by Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple.
So, as I read all the blurb about “Cat Person” and the outpour of love for short stories that it has caused I wondered: What if anyone wants to read short stories and crime fiction? So, here they are: Four recommendations for the crime loving people out there.
A classic containing probably the most well-known crime narratives of the past century. If you watch crime television shows, you will not hear the dog bark in these stories (and yes, that is a hint to one of my favourite ones). I highly recommend A Scandhal in Bohemia featuring my Internet namesake Adler.
You can find the short story collection (and audiobook) for free at the Project Gutenberg website here.
Another classic, pretty much overlooked. Poirot seems to be the preferred Christie detective for many, but Miss Marple was a game-changer because who expected an old woman to do any detecting? Recommended for that women-in-crime-fiction fan that we all know (and love).
Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives. Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense by Sarah Weinman
Sarah Weinman as an American writer and editor who focuses on domestic suspense. After the success of Gillian Flynn’s work, Weinman quickly reminded crime fiction readers of the array of women writers who invented and developed domestic noir in their short stories in 1950’s America. This is the first collection of crime fiction short stories that I professionally reviewed and I loved it. I told myself to read one story before bedtime each night and I would usually find myself dreaming throughout the day (even when I was reading other books!) of those 45 minutes at the end of the day when I could curl up in bed and pick up the book again.
Released by Karen Sullivan, founder of the innovative Orenda Books and edited by Martin Edwards, the CWA Anthology contains short stories from the most beloved and well-known contemporary crime fiction authors. Among the contributors, you’ll find C.L Taylor, Ann Cleeves and Susi Holliday. Perfect for fans of the authors – who are better known for the novels – as well as for anyone wishing to dip their toes in the latest crime fiction.
Are you a fan of short crime fiction? If so, don’t forget to leave your recommendations below!