Masterpieces of Mystery: Riddle Stories - 1920
Joseph Lewis French (editor)
genre - Mystery, Anthology
my rating - 4 out of 5 stars
In 1920, Joseph Lewis French gathered together some tales that he called 'riddle
stories'. In the preface it identifies a riddle story as "the most naive form of
the mystery story. It may contain a certain element of the supernatural - be
tinged with mysticism - but its motive and the revelation thereof must be
frankly materialistic - of the earth, earthy."
In my opinion, his definition of a riddle
story is a riddle.
The short stories included in this anthology
The Mysterious Card by Cleveland Moffett - Couldn't wait to see what the
card actually said.
The Great Valdez Sapphire by Anonymous - Just okay, but
has a good ending.
The Oblong Box by Edgar Allan Poe - It's Poe; of course
it's good. Is the movie on DVD?
The Birth Mark by Nathaniel Hawthorne -
Typical Hawthorne. Sad, sad, sad.
A Terribly Strange Bed by Wilkie Collins -
Very clever bad guys with very clever tools.
The Torture by Hope by Villiers
de l'Isle Adam - Good thing we have the Geneva Convention now.
The Box with
the Iron Clamps by Florence Marryat - Gruesome.
My Fascinating Friend by
William Archer - Truly a fascinating story. Surprising ending.
The Lost Room
by Fitz-James O'Brien - Odd. Not sure how to explain the happenings.
all, a wonderful collection of stories.
About the editor -
He founded two magazines, The New West (circa 1887) and The Wave (circa 1890). Afterwards he worked for newspapers contributing poetry and articles.
He struggled financially and in 1927 New York Graphic, a daily tabloid, published an autobiographical article they convinced him to write, titled "I'm Starving--Yet I'm in Who's Who as the Author of 27 Famous Books."