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I read this yesterday and was going to send you an e-mail.
I must honestly admit, it's not a bad story. It's well written, descriptive but is it worth a Dagger? I don't think so. It's so similar to the DuMaurier and to Ian NcEwan's The Comfort of Strangers plus you know from the first time she mentions John where this is going. I was hoping until the end that I would be wrong but no it played out like that. I think she writes really well but I would have thought the Dagger goes to something more original. Gaiman's story is another pastiche, as far as I saw.


Sounds just creepy enough. There's already a slight element of anxiety when one is out of one's own comfort zone, especially when the language is different. I can imagine the suspense mounting...


Ooo, sounds creepy. Too bad you can't get the other two stories. I'm sure they aren't that good anyway ;)


I was thinking too of Daphne Du Maurier as I was reading, and you're right about the McEwan. I liked it, thought it was well written as well--but I do know what you mean by being award material. Of course it might have been the best of the batch--I wish I could have gotten my hands on the other two. I think its hard sometimes with short stories to be really, really original and clever. I liked the Gaiman okay, but I am not a big Sherlock Holmes fan so I think that story was a bit lost on me--still thought it was good--but just not quite to my taste. I think of my favorites from the stories I read--the one that has been most memorable was the one that won a previous dagger! (Margaret Murphy's The Message).


Setting is so important with mysteries I think. A really good setting helps set the tone of the story and create tension and suspense as you say! I've enjoyed all my mystery stories, though I think I am ready to get back to something a bit more domestic!


That's what I'm trying to tell myself! If only a Kindle version would be available I'd ask my library to buy it so I could read them! :) Maybe I'll eventually find a nice used copy or it will be published in the US. And like you say, maybe I'm not actually missing out....? :)

Liz F

I suppose it is true that there are a limited number of storylines, particularly when it comes to mysteries but I seem to have read a few recently where I have got halfway through and realised that I knew exactly how it was going to end because it was effectively a tweaked version of another book.


Oh I love how you describe the setting for this - I want to read it! I'm on a bit of a library ban so I can read more of my books but I may have to see if my library carries this book.


I wonder if it is especially hard with a crime novel/story. It seems like its all been done before, so I am especially impressed when an author manages to floor me--most recently Alex by Pierre Lemaitre did it.


It's one to keep in mind for later maybe--for RIP in Oct? I love story collections like the one this story came out of and wouldn't mind owning it. And I love a story with good atmosphere--she manages to convey that paranoia well.

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