The Best Crime Stories Ever Told

  • by Dorothy L. Sayers (editor)
  • Narrated by Robin Bloodworth, Suehyla El Attar
  • 20 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When acclaimed mystery writer Dorothy L. Sayers first began compiling anthologies of the best crime stories in the 1920s and ’30s, the genre was in the flush of its first golden age. While it is hard to imagine today - after every possible mystery plot has been told, retold, subverted, and played straight again by hundreds of writers over nearly a century - in Sayers’s day there were still twists that had never been seen, and machinations of crime that would shock even jaded Jazz Age fans.
Now today’s fans of mystery and crime can experience a handpicked collection of over thirty of the most outstanding stories from this era, originally chosen by Sayers and newly introduced by Otto Penzler, a leading expert and connoisseur in the field of mystery literature. As a prolific writer of the genre, Sayers understood the difficulty of putting together a mystery that was not only sufficiently challenging (so that the solution was not immediately obvious to the listener), but also solvable without forcing the writer to cheat. That balance between opacity and solvability remains the greatest challenge of writing great crime stories - and these are some of the greatest.
Authors appearing in this collection include:


Edgar Allen Poe
Herman Melville
H. G. Wells
Wilkie Collins
Stephen Crane
J. S. Le Fanu

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Audible Editor Reviews

Being an acclaimed mystery writer herself, Dorothy L. Sayers knows a thing or two about what makes a story captivating. In this anthology of short fiction, Sayers compiles over 30 of the best mysteries from the early 1900s, a veritable golden age for the genre. Robin Bloodworth and Suehyla El Attar perform with a robust gusto, clearly reveling in these classic tales by such luminaries as Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, and H. G. Wells. Listeners will be thrilled by the many treasures unearthed in The Best Crime Stories Ever Told.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Lot of duds, some gems

If you like bobbing for apples when most are duds and the chance of getting a mouth full of mealy monster mush is guaranteed, you're ready to buy "Best Crime Stories" edited by Dorothy Sayers.

Most of these stories take place before crime writing came into its own. We get loads of gentlemen sleuths: pipe puffing know-it-alls who lack the quirky charm of Sherlock but like him steamroll over dumb cops to get the answers.

Then there are ghost stories, lots and lots. Speaking beyond the grave. Rattling the china. Scaring the horses. Edgar Allen Poe is not at his best here. He's trying out his themes of romantic loss and obsession without the crisp architecture of his best tales. The gems? Almost worth it for the Stephen Crane, the H.G. Wells and the Melville. That's about two good hours out of twenty. Is this a recommendation? Depends on how bored you're willing to be.

No complaints about the narrators.
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- Regina

Love Dorothy L Sayers

What disappointed you about The Best Crime Stories Ever Told?

What a disappointment, I love the crime books of Sayers, However, this collection degenerated into an anthology of ghost stories - not interested in Ghost stories and the write up should perhaps have been a bit more explanatory.


Has The Best Crime Stories Ever Told turned you off from other books in this genre?

No - The book is not a collection of Crime Stories.


Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Robin Bloodworth and Suehyla El Attar ?

Any one else would have been better as a narrator, he is particularly hard to listen to and the material did not help.


You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not really, it was long and I felt I had to give it a chance, but half way through book 3 I gave up. I wanted crime not ghost stories or philosophizing.


Any additional comments?

Audible should perhaps give a more accurate write up. The least favourite book I have chosen so far, but I guess there are going to be books I don't love. Having said that someone who liked this genre may love the book, I just felt a little cheated - by Sayers - is that a little weird?

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- Carol

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-28-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios