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Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories - French, Spanish, Italian, Latin Stories

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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

30 review for Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories - French, Spanish, Italian, Latin Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Surreysmum

    This rather bizarre little item from Kindle's free smorgasbord is in fact the fourth volume (French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, all in translation of course) of what looks like a highly idiosyncratic international compilation of what Poe would have called Tales of Mystery (&/or Terror) and Tales of Ratiocination, with the emphasis - in this volume at least - heavily on the supernatural and terrible, and the 'detective' side really only there to support Hawthorne's dubious claim of Voltaire's Zadig This rather bizarre little item from Kindle's free smorgasbord is in fact the fourth volume (French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, all in translation of course) of what looks like a highly idiosyncratic international compilation of what Poe would have called Tales of Mystery (&/or Terror) and Tales of Ratiocination, with the emphasis - in this volume at least - heavily on the supernatural and terrible, and the 'detective' side really only there to support Hawthorne's dubious claim of Voltaire's Zadig as a sort of early detective. (At best, he's a rational man in Voltaire's wildly satirical irrational world). Hawthorne devotes at least a quarter of his volume to short stories by de Maupassant, most of them very slight. I was intrigued by Balzac's take on Maturin's "Melmoth" - fan fiction of the most sophisticated kind! Balzac rather cynically proposes that the dread exchange of the soul for worldly favours would, if allowed to be exchanged from one man to another, itself degrade for smaller and smaller rewards, and he works this through in his story. I wouldn't mind browsing through the other five volumes, but only if I found them in their proper 1907-1908 format in a library or second-hand bookshop, rather than the faceless, characterless, carelessly scanned version for Kindle. Reading the stories this way made me rather sad. The compilation was published in 1907-1908 by the Review of Reviews in New York, and one volume contains the first publication of a story by Irish author Fitzjames O'Brien, so it wasn't just a cheap money-making compilation of out-of-copyright stuff. The six volumes are: American -- English, Scotch -- English, Irish -- French, Italian, etc. -- German, Russian, etc. -- Oriental, modern magic. and a conscientious librarian (bless their hearts!) has done a further breakdown of the volumes, as follows: American: J. Hawthorne, F.M. Crawford, M.E.W. Freeman, M.D. Post, A. Bierce, E.A. Poe, W. Irving, C.B. Brown. English-Scotch: R. Kipling, E. Castle, R.L. Stevenson, A.C. Doyle, S. Weyman, W. Collins, and others. English-Irish: F. O'Brien, Bulwer-Lytton, T. De Quincey, C.R. Maturin, L. Sterne, W.M. Thackeray, and others. French-Italian-Spanish-Latin: Maupassant, Mille, Adam, Erckmann-Chatrian, Balzac, Voltaire, Alarçon, Capuana, Apulcius, Pliny, the Younger. German-Russian-Scandinavian: G. Meyrink, P. Heyse, F. Hoffman, V. Krestovski, O. Larssen, D. Theden, W. Hauff, A. Chekhoff, J. Bergsoe, B. Ingemann, S.S. Blicher. Oriental: Arabic, Japanese, Persian, Turkish, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese. True stories of modern magic. It's in the Goodreads header, but just for the record, here's the contents of the volume I read, as pulled from Worldcat: Necklace, The ; Uncomfortable bed, An ; Ghosts ; Fear ; Confession, The ; Horla, The ; Man with the pale eyes / de Maupassant, Guy -- Miracle of Zobeide, The / Mille, Pierre -- Torture of hope / de L'Isle Adam, Villiers -- Owl's ear, The ; Invisible eye, The ; Waters of death, The / Erckmann, Chatrain -- Melmoth reconciled ; Conscript, The / de Balzac, Honore -- Zadig the Babylonian / Voltaire, Jean Francois Marie Arouet de -- Nail, The / de Alarcon, Perdo -- Desposition, The / Capuana, Luigi -- Adventure of the three robbers, The / Apuleius, Lucius -- Letter to Sura / Pliny, the Younger.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John P

    An interesting but disappointing book. This review is based on a Kindle version of one of the six volumes. Strangely, nowhere in this volume does it state which of the six it is. Perhaps it's all part of the mystery. Mine starts with Maupassant's 'The Necklace'. The included works are archaic and quaint but one wonders where are the mystery and detective stories? If you are looking for murder mysteries or similar, you have to look elsewhere. There is a decent tale by Voltaire, and a good example An interesting but disappointing book. This review is based on a Kindle version of one of the six volumes. Strangely, nowhere in this volume does it state which of the six it is. Perhaps it's all part of the mystery. Mine starts with Maupassant's 'The Necklace'. The included works are archaic and quaint but one wonders where are the mystery and detective stories? If you are looking for murder mysteries or similar, you have to look elsewhere. There is a decent tale by Voltaire, and a good example of Balzac so, at the end of the day, there is a little something to enjoy inside. Unfortunately, I have to say that is is not enough to encourage me to seek out the other volumes in this collection.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brian Laws

    Not good stories at all I found this as a free book on Amazon, so I guess I got what I paid for. This book is a collection of short stories, one of six it says, that have been translated and compiled. They tend to be older stories, so I'm guessing the meaning of mystery and detective stories as we'd define them today are kind of different. The stories tended to have some sort of strange goings on or some sort of mystery to them, but frankly they just weren't that interesting. I did not really enj Not good stories at all I found this as a free book on Amazon, so I guess I got what I paid for. This book is a collection of short stories, one of six it says, that have been translated and compiled. They tend to be older stories, so I'm guessing the meaning of mystery and detective stories as we'd define them today are kind of different. The stories tended to have some sort of strange goings on or some sort of mystery to them, but frankly they just weren't that interesting. I did not really enjoy reading this book that much and I will be steering clear of the other five volumes!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    Neither mystery nor detective stories These are simply stories of ghosts, odd happenings, and sad actions by people with sick minds. Literary I suppose, but definitely not mysteries and definitely not "the world's best." Neither mystery nor detective stories These are simply stories of ghosts, odd happenings, and sad actions by people with sick minds. Literary I suppose, but definitely not mysteries and definitely not "the world's best."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    If I could drop books without finishing them, I would have dropped this one. I'm not a huge short story fan to begin with and these weren't mystery and detective stories they were weird stories. If I could drop books without finishing them, I would have dropped this one. I'm not a huge short story fan to begin with and these weren't mystery and detective stories they were weird stories.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ahw

    The title page says "6 volumes" I think I only read one volume. The one I've selected for review. This had several French authors and a couple of ancient Roman ones. For the most part they weren't very good. A few of them written in the late 1800's had "surprising twists" at the end reminiscent of O'Henry... except not that surprising and .... not that good. But it does make me think that style was common for the time period. A long story from Voltaire was really like an Ancient Epic ... except .. The title page says "6 volumes" I think I only read one volume. The one I've selected for review. This had several French authors and a couple of ancient Roman ones. For the most part they weren't very good. A few of them written in the late 1800's had "surprising twists" at the end reminiscent of O'Henry... except not that surprising and .... not that good. But it does make me think that style was common for the time period. A long story from Voltaire was really like an Ancient Epic ... except ... it wasn't ancient so there was no thrill of reading something from very long ago. The two stories from the Roman Empire era were at least interesting because of their historical value. The others are still historical, They are all over a hundred years old obviously... but they're just bad. There are many other stories and writings from the time period that are much better.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eszter Felei

    El título no tiene nada que ver con las historias que de cuentan. No me parecen nada buenas mucho menos las mejores. Es verdad que son cortas y se leen rápido pero no es lo que se espera con semejante título.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lynda Newman

    Not very good, at all.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sjunkie

    One must first consider before diving into this collection that it is not a new book but rather was published at the turn of the 20th century. As such, what it means by "mystery and detective" is not the contemporary crime fiction you're probably thinking of. The stories are mysteries in that they are mysterious, and there is often a supernatural component (also often a legal one). I really enjoyed reading this, actually. I mark it so low because the compilation is a bit haphazard. There is no e One must first consider before diving into this collection that it is not a new book but rather was published at the turn of the 20th century. As such, what it means by "mystery and detective" is not the contemporary crime fiction you're probably thinking of. The stories are mysteries in that they are mysterious, and there is often a supernatural component (also often a legal one). I really enjoyed reading this, actually. I mark it so low because the compilation is a bit haphazard. There is no explanation of what the theme is or what it might consist of, and there is nothing in the way of introduction for the vast majority of the stories, the most being a mere paragraph for a few of them.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jane Wetzel

    How can one not be amazed by stories of fascinating historical times and cultures wrought with the fantasy of beliefs and parables. I loved this book. It was an odd collection. The beginning stories were, as said, oft-told tales of the Middle East. Some were obviously different cultural versions of the same fable. The last of the book was "Stories of Modern Magic". They were a small collection of "confessions" of magic tricks and mysticism; as well as uncovering fake spiritualists. Most interest How can one not be amazed by stories of fascinating historical times and cultures wrought with the fantasy of beliefs and parables. I loved this book. It was an odd collection. The beginning stories were, as said, oft-told tales of the Middle East. Some were obviously different cultural versions of the same fable. The last of the book was "Stories of Modern Magic". They were a small collection of "confessions" of magic tricks and mysticism; as well as uncovering fake spiritualists. Most interesting book. A nice change from modern writings.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    This is a collection of lots of older mysteries. These are not just detective stories but rather true mysteries as they are discovered by the characters. Stories are short so it was easy to pick this book up when? I had a few minutes or put it down for days if something more urgent came up. A very good book to read in an overstuffed chair with a blanket and a glass of wine on a chilly night.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    fun. just plain fun. go for it. and check it out at librivox. the volume i read/listened to included 1. by the waters of paradise 2. the shadow on the wall 3. corpus delecti 4. an heiress from redhorse 5. the man and the snake 6. the oblong box 7. the gold bug 8. wolfert webber or the golden dreams 9. the adventure of the black fisherman and 10. weiland's madness fun. just plain fun. go for it. and check it out at librivox. the volume i read/listened to included 1. by the waters of paradise 2. the shadow on the wall 3. corpus delecti 4. an heiress from redhorse 5. the man and the snake 6. the oblong box 7. the gold bug 8. wolfert webber or the golden dreams 9. the adventure of the black fisherman and 10. weiland's madness

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melvin

    Older stories not really classics or like modern mysteries.

  14. 4 out of 5

    JoAnn

    Listening to Volume 4. I liked THE NECKLACE, THE HORLA, TORTURE BY HOPE, THE WATERS OF DEATH, MELMOTH RECONCILED, and THE NAIL.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christiane

    There is only one outstanding short story in this volume : Auguste de Villiers de L’Isle-Adam's "The Torture by Hope", which is extraordinarily disturbing. There is only one outstanding short story in this volume : Auguste de Villiers de L’Isle-Adam's "The Torture by Hope", which is extraordinarily disturbing.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dale Van

    Old classics made new. Famous stories brought together in one volume. A good afternoon, well spent. Make sure you have a fresh pot of coffee.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Girish Ananthakrishnan

    Some stories are extremely superficial

  18. 4 out of 5

    Saul Escalona

    Hi guys, to some of you, this is not kindle. I picked it from Gutenberg project.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ian Thwaites

    Truly horrible—couldn't finish. Truly horrible—couldn't finish.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Becky Boxberger

    I love detective stories and this was a super collection. Enjoyed some stories I would never have found by some of my favorite authors in this group.

  21. 5 out of 5

    candy

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mr T G Scott

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dar

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Kopyc

  25. 5 out of 5

    nandita

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karen Hart

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paloma

  29. 4 out of 5

    gaurav gupta

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

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