Friday, September 29, 2006

British Readers: Who Are These Stories REALLY About?

A few days ago I wrote that Edward Marston's "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre" and Anthony Mann's "Esther Gordon Framlingham," both in The Best British Mysteries 2005, put me off somewhat with their self-referentiality (though the Mann, especially, has some very funny dialogue). Do any British readers know those stories? If so, are the stories taking potshots at anyone in particular in Britain's crime-fiction world?



Anonymous Maxine said...

I don't think I know these. But I don't read short stories much these days.

September 29, 2006  
Blogger Peter said...

It's a shame that there are few forums left for short stories. I generally enjoy novels more, and it's just easier to find them. But that Best British Mysteries series is a fine idea, and the 2005 volume contains at least two superb stories and a number that are very good. (The anthology's compiler is Maxim Jakubowski, obviously a busy man when it comes to crime fiction.) There are also many short-story anthologies in the U.S. market, which I guess exist in part to replace the magazines that used to print stories.

Come to think of it, some of the stories in Best British Mysteries 2005 seem to have appeared first in other anthologies, so maybe the situation is similar in the U.K.

A reader who responded to my "British are Different" post seemed to imply that Marston and Mann may have been aiming some jabs at their own field, only he said so less delicately: "The Brits have always been much more skilled in taking the piss out of each other." He cited the notorious British tabloid newspapers as an example. That's what got me curious about who Mann and Marston may have been skewering.

September 29, 2006  

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