Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Review: "No Mercy" by Wendy Cartmell

No Mercy is a short anthology of short stories. The centerpiece features Sergeant Major Crane, who inhabits other stories by the author. Short stories; short review. The story with Crane is too brief to develop his overall character or demonstrate the range of his detective skills. He seems short-sighted as to his case, relying on luck and a nearly unprovoked confession to solve it. I am not sure if Crane is the accidental detective (Clouseau), relying on others to get things done, or the deceptive detective (Colombo), disarming others with his manner. The author does a good job, however, with the physical attributes of the detective and other persons in the collection of stories. The book's real gem is the short-short, The Telephone Call, which was the only story with a real surprise twist after the twist to the not too concealed plot line. Kudos on that. Overall, these nicely written stories are a good read, but break little new ground as mystery fiction or surprising us with shocking twists. It's a safe read on the commute to work and earns an overall very positive "3".

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