“The Eighth Detective” opens in Spain 1930, with trickery, a trick on Bunny, a trick on Megan, and a trick on the reader. This chapter is a short story, and the heart of the book follows. Julia Hart is interviewing Grant McAllister, author of “The White Murders, The Permutations of Detective Fiction. It is a book of seven classic traditional short stories that illustrate the key elements of every successful murder mysteries. A publisher has sent Hart to interview McAlister and update the stories for republication.
The short stories are everything that readers crave in a murder mystery, all the key elements:
- A victim or group of victims who have been killed in unknown circumstances
- A suspect or suspects
- Detectives or characters who are trying to solve the crime.
This book contains the short stories that readers devour. They are all prefect examples, but there is something more. An unusual story unfolds in the chapters in between each story. Hart suspects that McAllister is evading certain issues, and she has something to hide as well.
The title implies that there are eight detectives, and there are but seven stories. So who is detective number eight? That is the critical question and I will not reveal the answer. Readers must find out for themselves I received a review copy of “The Eighth Detective” from Alex Pavesi, Henry Holt and Company, and Macmillan Publishing Group. I loved all eight stories.