Tuesday, July 12, 2016
A Gathering of Great Detectives, by Shawn Reilly Simmons
All the stories in this book take place at conventions, conferences, club meetings, or the like and part of the fun is seeing how the authurs use that. Simmons features, largely enough, a mystery weekend.
The twist is that all the guests - and hosts - come dressed as great fictional detectives, and are penalized if they dare to speak out of character. Now Inspector Bucket (from Dickens' Bleak House)
has tumbled down a flight of stairs and two genuine cops are trying to figure it out how it happened.
Their big problem is that the suspects and witnesses think they are part of the act and start ringing penalty bells if they try to speak as if this was a real-life event. Funny, and bizarre.
I may be prejudiced in favor of this story because it reminds me (in a non-plagiarizing way) of my story "Shanks Gets Killed," which also involves a murder weekend and a Maltese Falcon-related prize. But in any case, Simmons has given us a fun read.