Tales of Terror
1. The Horror of the Heights
2. The Leather Funnel
3. The New Catacomb
4. The Case of Lady Sannox
5. The Terror of Blue John Gap
6. The Brazilian Cat
Tales of Mystery
1. The Lost Special
2. The Beetle-hunter
3. The Man With the Watches
4. The Japanned Box
5. The Black Doctor
6. The Jew's Breastplate
exactly as it stands, beginning at page three of the blood-soaked note-book:
"Nevertheless, when I dined at Rheims with Coselli and Gustav Raymond I found that neither of them was aware of any particular danger in the higher layers of the atmosphere. I did not actually say what was in my thoughts, but I got so near to it that if they had any corresponding idea they could not have failed to express it. But then they are two empty, vainglorious fellows with no thought beyond seeing their silly names in the newspaper. It is interesting to note that neither of them had ever been much beyond the twenty-thousand-foot level. Of course, men have been higher than this both in balloons and in the ascent of mountains. It must be well above that point that the aeroplane enters the danger zone--always presuming that my premonitions are correct.
"Aeroplaning has been with us now for more than twenty years, and one might well ask: Why should this peril be only revealing itself in our day? The answer is obvious.
The "Horror of the Heights" and "The New Catacomb" are amongst the finest short fiction written by Doyle. "The Man with the Watches" is a pleasant read as is "The Lost Special". It is amazing that one man who thought so little of his fiction and so much of his long and tedious biographies could consistently be not only the founder of the modern detective mystery but the creator of such memorable characters. I recommend this book to all.
I can't honestly give this collection five stars. The Tales of Terror contains some gems, like "The Horror of the Heights", "The New Catacomb" and "The Terror of Blue John Gap". And "The Leather Funnel" has a certain gruesome charm. But the Tales of Mystery are a bit of a disappointment: These mysteries are definitely sub-Sherlockian, although the conspiratorial machinations revealed at the end of "The Lost Special" are pulpishly amusing.
One word - GREAT!
If you have only read the Sherlock Holmes stories, then you have missed out on the other great short fiction by Arthur Conan Doyle, some of which is represented in this collection. I thought the "Tales of Mystery" in particular were quite good.
I started reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle many years ago (in school) and some of the short stories in this collection I remembered well. Others I "re-discovered".
I am amazed at how Conan Doyle managed to captivate me as a child and still manges to do the same now.
He was a superb storyteller and this selection is full of unease and mystery.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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