"The Book of Extraordinary Historical Mystery Stories" & "The Book of Extraordinary Amateur Sleuth and Private Eye Stories"

by Doward Wilson

Details on how to win a copies of these books at the end of the review and links to purchase them.

The Book of Extraordinary Historical Mystery Stories: The Best New Original Stories of the Genre
Edited by Maxim Jakubowski

This anthology of fifteen mysteries spans the time period from the prehistoric ice age to current time periods from authors Martin Edwards, Lavie Tidhar, O'Neil de Noux, Kate Ellis, Ashley Lister, Rhys Hughes, Sally Spedding, Keith Moray, Jane Finnis, Paul Magrs, Bernie Crosthwaite, Amy Myers, Michael Bracken & Sandra Murphy, Eric Brown, and Linda Stratmann.

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Here are a couple of my favorites:
The First Locked Room by Eric Brown was a compelling read that kept my attention from the first page. It tells the story of Gudrun the leader of a small band of humans in the prehistoric ice age. The tribe has been run off of their traditional hunting grounds by another group of humans with cannibalistic leanings. Their current hunting grounds have been providing sparse food for the many tribe members. A dissident hunter, Korth, has challenged Gudrun to finding more food or giving up his leadership position. Gudrun has approached their spiritual leader, god-man, Skarn, for help. God-man tells him to return at sunset and he will have the answer. The answer comes in the form of a human sacrifice who will spend the night in the Solitary Cave. The gods will come during the night and kill the sacrifice, leaving a mark on his forehead. When that is done, the hunting will be good and everyone will survive. Korth becomes the sacrifice and is walled into the Solitary Cave very much alive. Will he still be alive the next morning or will the Gods have taken him?

The Man From the Crocodilopolis by Keith Moray tells the story of Hanufer, the new overseer of police in Alexandria, Egypt. Hanufer has been called to investigate the death of a slave whose body was pulled from the waters of Lake Mareotis. Hanufer determines that it was a well-planned murder that he must solve for King Ptolemy. When the owner of the murdered slave is also murdered, Hanufer has to track down a plot involving the King and Queen. Can he make all the right deductions to track down a ruthless killer?

This anthology provided some complex tales of murder and mystery for the readers enjoyment. Check it out!

The Book of Extraordinary Amateur Sleuth and Private Eye Stories: The Best New Original Stories of the Genre
Edited by Maxim Jakubowski

This anthology of seventeen stories are from authors Alison Joseph, Rhys Hughes, Eric Brown, Mary Harris, David Stuart Davies, Paul Magrs, Sandra Murphy, Keith Brooke, Yvonne Eve Walus, O'Neil de Noux, Jane Finnis, Nick Mamatas, Sally Spedding, Nick Quantrill, Ricki Thomas, Russell D. McLean, and Lavia Tidhar.

Here are a couple of my favorites in this anthology:
Look For the Silver Lining - A Johnny One Eye Story by David Stuart Davies is the story of John Hawke a private investigator in wartime London. He has been hired to find out who and how someone has stolen the prize Greyhound, Silver Lining, from his owner, Harry Blackledge, just before a big race. As John discovers there is more going on than just a theft. Soon a ransom demand shows up! Can John solve the case and get Silver Lining back in time for the race?

Sharon Leigh Takes Texas by Sandra Murphy is the story of a bounty hunter who moves from the snow-filled midwest to the big warm state of Texas so that she can collect money owed her by her ex-husband, Jimmie Lee. Liking her new surroundings, Sharon goes to work for Jimmie Lee in order to get her PI license hours in. Sharon takes on the case of Allie, a librarian who is being stalked. Someone has been in her home and car and reading her mail. Allie is terrified that the stalking is going to escalate, and it does. Sharon's tires are slashed and the stalker lets them know that they know who and what Sharon is. Moving in with Allie comes next, and Sharon works hard to discover who the stalker is and keep her and Allie alive and unhurt. Can Sharon uncover the clues and find out who the stalker is and why they are doing it?

These two anthology books covered a large field of writers and each presented a unique story. The different time periods added to the overall enjoyment. Each story was a different surprise, and I enjoyed trying to figure out what each one was before the ending. Short story lovers will enjoy these two anthologies very much. No two stories are alike, and all of them will keep you guessing.

To enter to win a copy of both of these anthologies, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "anthologies,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 23, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via comment please include your email address. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors!

You can use these links to purchase these books. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon links:

Opens to author website

Doward Wilson is a retired and avid cozy, paranormal, and adventure reader who can’t say no to most books. He recently moved from Independence, Missouri to Gladbrook, Iowa. Located in Central Iowa, Gladbrook (population 900+) is small town, rural farming at its best.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Those sound like some great anthologies. Count me in!

  2. Excellent review! I enjoy anthologies, finding new authors and reading known (to me) authors' new stories.

  3. That first description of the "locked room" mystery hooked my interest. Both anthologies sound like solid winners and include authors with whom I'm not yet familiar. (claire at clairemurraywrites.com)

  4. These sound interesting.



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