Two Bottles of Relish: The Little Tales of Smethers and Other Stories (Crime Club)

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9780008159368: Two Bottles of Relish: The Little Tales of Smethers and Other Stories (Crime Club)
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Lord Dunsany mixes reality with fantasy in this forgotten collection of modern detective stories. Some are macabre, others have a lighter and more amusing touch, but every story stimulates the imagination and reveals the acknowledged master of the short story at his very best.

SMETHERS is a travelling salesman for Numnumo, who make a relish for meats and savouries. He shares a flat with an Oxford graduate called Linley, who fancies himself as a detective and to whom Scotland Yard is inclined to turn if they encounter a particularly challenging mystery. When a pretty young girl disappears and her lodger is suspected of murdering her, two bottles of Numnumo relish are the only clues, and Smethers is sent to gather more information . . .

Amongst the hundreds of fantasy stories for which the Irish dramatist, poet and writer Lord Dunsany became deservedly famous there was one solitary little book of detective stories. Selected by Ellery Queen as an ‘unequivocal keystone’ in the history of crime writing, this quirky collection is a mixture of the masterful and the macabre, a book that lovers of detective stories and tales of the unexpected will want to savour.

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Review:

‘The book is a treasure-trove – no less than 26 tales of crime and detection, all illumined by Lord Dunsany’s charm and wit, and his individualistic style. The first nine stories record the exploits of Mr Linley, including that undeniable modern classic, “The Two Bottles of Relish”.’
ELLERY QUEEN

‘There are my “Poe” pieces and my “Dunsany” pieces – but alas – where are my “Lovecraft” pieces?’
H. P. LOVECRAFT

‘“The Two Bottles of Relish” is so horrific – and what a brilliant, brilliant idea. The perfect crime.’
OTTO PENZLER

About the Author:

Born in 1878 to the second oldest title in the Irish peerage, Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany, was a writer and dramatist, mostly of fantasy. He published more than 80 books as Lord Dunsany, including hundreds of short stories, as well as successful plays, novels and essays. Educated at Cheam, Eton College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, he served in the Boer War and both World Wars, moving in the 1930s from County Meath to Shoreham in Kent. Dunsany worked with W.B. Yeats, and was a significant influence on such writers as H. P. Lovecraft, J.R.R. Tolkien, Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov.

In addition to his writing, Lord Dunsany was an influential campaigner for the scouting movement, the British Legion, and for animal rights. He set chess puzzles for The Times, was a pioneering writer of radio drama and appeared in early television programmes including the BBC’s The Brains Trust. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Geographical Society, Dunsany received an honorary doctorate from Trinity College, Dublin, and was nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature. He died in 1957 of appendicitis, aged 79.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Lord Dunsany mixes reality with fantasy in this forgotten collection of modern detective stories. Some are macabre, others have a lighter and more amusing touch, but every story stimulates the imagination and reveals the acknowledged master of the short story at his very best. SMETHERS is a travelling salesman for Numnumo, who make a relish for meats and savouries. He shares a flat with an Oxford graduate called Linley, who fancies himself as a detective and to whom Scotland Yard is inclined to turn if they encounter a particularly challenging mystery. When a pretty young girl disappears and her lodger is suspected of murdering her, two bottles of Numnumo relish are the only clues, and Smethers is sent to gather more information . . . Amongst the hundreds of fantasy stories for which the Irish dramatist, poet and writer Lord Dunsany became deservedly famous there was one solitary little book of detective stories. Selected by Ellery Queen as an `unequivocal keystone' in the history of crime writing, this quirky collection is a mixture of the masterful and the macabre, a book that lovers of detective stories and tales of the unexpected will want to savour. Seller Inventory # AA89780008159368

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