As I mentioned in my review of “The Triumphs of Eugene Valmont”, I recently rambled through the Ellery Queen list of recommended crime stories, and while searching online to see what was available, I came across an intriguing looking anthology: “The Dead Witness”, edited by Michael Sims. Needless to say, a very reasonably priced copy was soon winging its way towards me, and it turns out to be such fun!

dead witness

The book collects together stories and extracts from the earliest days of crime stories right up to 1915. Fascinatingly enough, the first tale, from 1837, is regarded as the first ‘proper’ detective story, and hasn’t been reprinted until now.


I have to confess I was a little unsure about committing to 500 pages of vintage crime, as there are so many books I want to read just now. So I shall break my current rule of only reading one book at a time, and I’ll dip into this volume as an aside when I feel in the mood. Watch this space for reviews of classic detection!!