books, Recommendsday

Recommendsday: Short Story Collections

This Wednesday, I’m looking at short story collections as I’ve read a couple of them recently and it’s got me thinking. Obviously one of them was Scattered Showers, which has already featured as a BotW, but here are a few more for your consideration.

The Lady with the Gun Asks the Questions by Kerry Greenwood

Lets start with a collection of short stories from my favourite Australian detective – The Honourable Phryne Fisher. It only came out in the UK last year (although Australians got it sooner) so it’s even relatively recent. This collection has stories that slot in at various points during the series, including four new ones for this book. If you haven’t read the whole series, I don’t think any of them will spoil anything for you, but there are plenty of familiar faces here, including an origin story for one of her friendships. And my love of Phryne and her world is well known – it’s always a delight to get to spend any time with her.

Marple: Twelve New Mysteries by Various Authors*

This is another recent one which I’m including it because I liked *some* of the stories although it completely lost me with the last story – if you read it, you’ll probably understand why. This has new takes on Miss Marple, written by some of the biggest names in fiction at the moment including Kate Mosse, Elly Griffiths and Alyssa Cole. It does feel a little bit like Miss Marple plot bingo at times – and because they’re all done by different people there is not a lot of internal consistency. I was glad I read it – mostly because I’m a completist – and because it’s not written by Agatha Christie I’m able to ignore the bits that I didn’t like!

American Housewife by Helen Ellis

It’s been 7 years, so I think I’m allowed to mention this again now! This was my first encounter with Helen Ellis’s writing and I’ve been buying her stuff ever since. Each story peers behind the curtain of a seemingly normal American housewife and exposes the secrets behind. These are dark and darkly humorous short stories, that make for perfect bite-sized reading before bed. Its funny and quirky and you hope you never meet (or become) any of the women you meet in it!

Sweetest in the Gale by Olivia Dade

Just throwing a bit of romance in here to finish, because I can. Sweetest in the Gale has three short stories about three different couples, so you get three happy endings! There are also three different tropes – we’ve got a widowed teacher, an enemies to lovers and a marriage of convenience. They’re all set in Marysburg – which is where Tess from 40-Love is a teacher (when she’s not on holiday) as well as where Teach Me is set too. There are definite bittersweet elements to all three of them, but they are definitely romances.

Before I go, I should mention a couple of other short story collections that have been books of the week – Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women and Curtis Sittenfeld’s You Think It, I’ll Say It – and it’s only a few weeks to go before her new novel comes out, which is very exciting.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

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