Guilty Creatures

ebook A Menagerie of Mysteries · British Library Crime Classics

By Martin Edwards

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"An unusually rewarding anthology whose most dangerous species remain Homo sapiens."— Kirkus Reviews

Feline friends, canine companions and aviary associates are often the truest reflections of their owners and have played a crucial role in classic crime fiction—be they detectives, or delinquents. Martin Edwards reaches into the British Library of Crime Classics to collect mysteries featuring an animal cohort.

Guilty Creatures celebrates an often-overlooked species of classic crime fiction. Since the dawn of the crime fiction genre, animals of all kinds have played a memorable part in countless mysteries, and in a variety of roles: the perpetrator, the key witness, the sleuth's trusted companion. This collection of fourteen stories corrals plots centered around cats, dogs, and insects alongside more exotic incidents involving gorillas, parakeets, and serpents—complete with a customary shoal of red herrings.

The collection includes an introduction on animals in detective fiction by Martin Edwards. "From the first detective story, Edgar Allan Poe's locked room puzzle 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue' onwards, animals, birds, and insects have played a memorable part in countless mysteries, and in a wide variety of ways. Count Fosco, the brilliantly characterized villain in Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White was surrounded by "a cockatoo, two canary-birds and a whole family of white mice," while the hound of the Baskervilles famously terrorised Dartmoor in Arthur Conan Doyle's superb Sherlock Holmes novel. Since then, many crime writers have written about members of the animal kingdom."

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Guilty Creatures