Vintage Crime, edited by novelist Martin Edwards, raids the Crime Writers Association (CWA) archives to bring together some of the best short stories written in the genre, since the organisation was founded in 1953. Edwards, CWA archivist and former chair, has selected work which shows the evolution of crime-fiction writing over almost seventy years. And there’s a lot to choose from: the archives are rich as the CWA has always been a great advocate of the short story.

As both crime-fiction and short story fans, we love books like Vintage Crime, and this anthology doesn’t disappoint, providing the audience with an eclectic mix of crime-fiction writing. As with any collection, there are going to be tales of more interest, others less so; however, this is an interesting collection of gems, blending older and more contemporary crime fiction. And, while it includes some very well-known names, it’s also a great introduction to the work of some writers who might be less familiar to modern audiences.

Among our favourites, without giving away any spoilers, are Bill Knox’s rather Hitchcockian ‘The service flat’, Paula Gosling’s ‘The perfect alibi’ and Michael Z. Lewin’s very clever ‘The hand that feeds me’, but there are so many more to choose from. Twenty-two very fine stories in fact.

An entertaining anthology, full of many bite-size joys, Vintage Crime comes highly recommended.


Writers included: Robert Barnard, Simon Brett, Liza Cody, Mat Coward, John Dickson Carr, Marjorie Eccles, Martin Edwards, Kate Ellis, Anthea Fraser, Celia Fremlin, Frances Fyfield, Michael Gilbert, Paula Gosling, Lesley Grant-Adamson, HRF Keating, Bill Knox, Peter Lovesey, Mick Herron, Michael Z. Lewin, Susan Moody, Julian Symons and Andrew Taylor.


CWA Vintage Crime | Martin Edwards, ed. | Flame Tree Press | paperback | 11 August 2020

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To celebrate publication of Vintage Crimes, a special online panel Flame Tree Live: CWA and Vintage Crime will be screened on Sunday 16 August at 6pm on Facebook. To watch, register in advance at


Martin Edwards, editor of Vintage Crime, has penned eighteen novels. His ground-breaking genre study The Golden Age of Murder won the Edgar, Agatha and HRF Keating awards. He is editor of twenty-eight crime anthologies and has won the CWA Short Story Dagger and the CWA Margery Allingham Prize. He is series consultant for the British Library’s Crime Classics.

Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the book tour organised by Random Things Tours. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation. Thanks to the publisher for supplying a book proof. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved. Please check out the other reviews on this tour.

See also:Amanda Craig’s homage to Highsmith‘; ‘Chris Whitaker’s small-town America’; ‘Nora Roberts’ Sanctuary: an Old Familiar’; Carver’s Nothing Important Happened Today’; By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘Yvonne Battle-Fenton’s Remembered‘; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

Also of interest: Night Mail (1936), changing the face of British film; A Colour Box by Len Lye (1935); Hitchcock (2012); The Splendour of George Stevens’ Giant (1956). Hitchcock (2012).

This review is copyright © 2020 by The Literary Shed. All rights are reserved. All opinions expressed are our own. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please contact us for permission and provide the necessary credit. Thank you so much. We welcome your feedback.




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