Buffet for Unwelcome Guests: The Best Short Mysteries of Christianna Brand

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SIU Press, 1983 - Fiction - 300 pages
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Christianna Brand’s fiction features brisk prose, wry twists, plots that lure the reader into a false sense of having figured every contingency, and ironic turns that not only spice the narrative but supply its lifeblood. No one has read a Brand story who has failed to read the last sentence.

 

Christianna Brand was born Mary Christianna Milne in Malaya in 1907. She spent her childhood in India. At 17 she learned her father had lost all his money. Without a shred of training or experience she found herself faced with earning a living. She held a string of jobs, but lent little distinction to any of them: nursery governess, packer of beaded dresses for export, hostess in a plush nightclub, professional ballroom dancer, model in Bond Street dress shops, and, “most hopeless of all,” secretary.

 

In 1939, lacking any training in litera­ture or journalism, Mary Milne decided to try writing fiction. Her first novel, Death in High Heels, was rejected by 15 publishers before The Bodley Head took it in 1941, published under the pen name, Christianna Brand.

 

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Contents

After the Event
3
Blood Brothers
26
The Hornets Nest
39
Murder Game
97
The Scapegoat
127
Something to Clear the Palate
177
Hie Jacet
195
The MerryGoRound
209
From the Balcony
227
Bless This House
241
Such a Nice Man
254
The Whispering
260
The Hand of God
279
A Checklist
291
Copyright

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About the author (1983)

Robert Briney is chairman of the De­partment of Computer Science at Salem (Massachusetts) State College and a fre­quent commentator on western, mystery, fantasy, and science fiction.

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