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Friday, 19 June 2020

‘Deep Waters: Mysteries on the Waves’.


Edited by Martin Edwards
Published by the British Library,
10 June 2019.
ISBN: 978-0-71235288-8 (PB)

As the title implies, Deep Waters is a collection of short stories set on (or in) the water. Often these mysteries are focused around boats of various sizes and descriptions and feature everything from seas and oceans to canals and pools, although a typically quirky story by H.C. Bailey is mainly centred around a swimming pool.

The Adventure of the Gloria Scott by Arthur Conan Doyle tells how Sherlock Holmes first came to consider using his observational and deductive talents to become a consulting detective. However, it also describes the horrors of a voyage on a ship deporting criminals to Australia and the long-term results of a murderous mutiny. In contrast the sea voyage in E.W. Hornung‘s story, The Gift of the Emperor, is set on a sea voyage on a very luxurious vessel. Also, out in the sea, but not on any form of vessel, a strange and evocative tale by R. Austin Freeman captures the loneliness of life for those serving in a lighthouse. Several of the stories are by well-known authors and feature their series detectives: Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes; H. C. Bailey and Reginald Fortune; R. Austin Freeman and Dr Thorndyke; E.W. Hornung and Raffles; Michael Innes and John Appleby; and Edmund Crispin and Gervase Fen.

There is a fascinating variety in the stories, ranging from a clever, claustrophobic tale by Christopher St. John Sprigg about three friends who fear that one of them is a murderer and intend to investigate the crime themselves before they reach land, to the eccentric tale of a haunted pool by Gwyn Evans with a most unconventional detective.

Deep Waters is published by the British Library and all of the stories are prefaced by informative author biographies researched and written by the book’s editor, Martin Edwards. A fascinating collection of stories, which I recommend.
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Reviewer:  Carol Westron

Martin Edwards was born 7 July 1955 at Knutsford, Cheshire and educated in Northwich and at Balliol College, Oxford University, taking a first-class honours degree in law. He trained as a solicitor in Leeds and moved to Liverpool on qualifying in 1980. He published his first legal article at the age of 25 and his first book, about legal aspects of buying a business computer at 27, before spending just over 30 years as a partner of a law firm, where he is now a consultant. He is married to Helena with two children (Jonathan and Catherine) and lives in Lymm. A member of the Murder Squad a collective of crime writers. In 2007 he was appointed the Archivist of the Crime Writers Association and in 2011 he was appointed the Archivist of the Detection Club. Martin is currently chair of the CWA. For more information visit:

Carol Westron is a successful short story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.  She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly Dames.  Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.  The Terminal Velocity of Cats the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Carol recently gave an interview to Mystery People. To read the interview click on the link below.

To read a review of Carol latest book This Game of Ghosts click on the title.

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