The Mammoth Book of Perfect Crimes and Impossible Mysteries, edited by Mike Ashley, is fun on a bun. I always buy these “Mammoth Book of….” books and never read them. I love mystery anthologies, so a yooge one should be right up my alley. Instead I whine about it being too big I can’t do it *sob*. But I am starting out this Cannonball having completed two mammoth books o’crime, and dang it, I’m proud of myself.
The best thing about this book is how hilarious some of the solutions are. One involves a huge outside electromagnetic field built for $350,000, a helium balloon, and a dummy. Considering it was for a $500,000 challenge, that’s some serious commitment. Another one involves—okay, spoiler, but read for yourself about a guy killed in a closed telephone booth and a makeshift blow gun:
“Earlier he had put an out-of-order sign on the booth to keep it free for his use. He then attaches his blow gun—a light-weight cylinder of some kind, probably cardboard or plastic, and about five inches long—to the underside of the telephone book shelf with some electrical tape, so that it hangs just slightly below the shelf and points to a predetermined spot which he is sure will coincide with the victim’s heart. The killer inserts the ice pick into the tube, which is just a fraction wider than the diameter of the handle.”
The tubing runs through the bottom of the phone booth to a gas station air pump….and it goes on like this. Another mystery involves nanobots and a mechanical mosquito. You have to love the machinations.
It’s not all suspend-your-disbelief stories. There are some that are genuinely clever and hard to figure out. All in all, I enjoyed this book, despite being in a locked room with an ice pick aimed at my heart.