Book Review | Many Deadly Returns, ed. Martin Edwards

Goodreads Blurb:

Murder Squad, a group of award-winning crime and mystery writers, celebrate their twenty-first birthday with a bang in this criminally good collection of short stories.

A dawn swim turns deadly in a brand-new short story starring DCI Vera Stanhope . . . Two bored cell-mates play a game with chilling results . . . A hen night in an isolated cottage brings new meaning to ‘I will survive’ . . . A train traveller teaches a valuable lesson in reading labels . . . A day at the seaside turns stormy for a woman who doesn’t care for foreigners . . . A wealthy retiree makes a new friend who connects her to the Other Side . . . and much much more.

Short, sharp and packed with twists, these 21 unputdownable tales showcase Murder Squad’s range and talent throughout the years. So why not treat yourself to a slice of murderously moreish fiction, and join us in wishing the squad ‘Many Deadly Returns’.

With stories by Ann Cleeves, Martin Edwards, Kate Ellis, Margaret Murphy, Chris Simms and Cath Staincliffe, as well as John Baker, Chaz Brenchley and Stuart Pawson.

My Thoughts:

I picked up this eARC mostly because it contained three short stories by one of my favourite crime authors Ann Cleeves, and I am so glad I did because I have discovered so many more crime authors I would love to read more of. I was also curious as to how these authors could fit a crime story that would usually require so much detail and backstory into the short-story style. As I soon realised, this could be done, and could be done very well at that.

Each of these pocket size crime stories managed to surprise me in ways I wasn’t expecting. This was something I loved. The twists and surprises that mystery and crime novels offer is what draws me back to this genre time and time again. So to read exactly that in a different form was great.

As always with a collection of short stories there will be some I loved and some that I didn’t quite as much. When I pick a collection that is right for me, I find myself really enjoying most of them, but the odd few that I didn’t as much are still a great read. That was the case here which was so good.

My favourites were easily the three by Ann Cleeves – Wild Swimming, The Queen of Mystery, and A Winter’s Tale. I also loved The Fox and the Hens and The Confessions of Edward Prime by Kate Ellis. Those are the ones that come to mind for me, but there weren’t any I didn’t enjoy.

I highly recommend this as a quick read with many twists and turns throughout. If you’re deterred by the format there’s no need, while the pieces are short and have no connection to each other, they work as a collection wonderfully. If you’re a murder mystery fan, this is for you!


Thank you to NetGalley, the authors, and the publisher for sending me this free eARC (eAdvanced Reader Copy), I am leaving this review voluntarily. This title was published 2nd November 2021.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s