Anthologies are, generally speaking, a tricky business. Whether they are written by one author or by several authors. But "Continental Crimes" happily avoids these traps. These are solid British murder mysteries set in different countries on the continent. There are stories by Agatha Christie, Josephine Bell, Arnold Bennett, Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K.Chesterton and many others...Of course, not all the stories are brilliant, but they are very good and some are brilliant which makes this a surprisingly very good anthology.
Carrots" is an escapist adventure that seems to be aiming for Stephanie Plumb zaniness but never quite gets there.
The premise is intriguing: 30 something stay at home mom stops to buy carrots, witnesses a bank robbery, gets a grazing head wound from a bullet and wakes with the ability to read minds.
Soon she finds herself being hunted by the robber, ensnared by a mob boss, consulting with the police and hiding things from her lawyer husband.
The plot is original and delivers several surprises of the "how is she going to get out of THAT?" kind but I kept being distracted by the fact that our heroine seemed implausible to the point of being insulting.
She was obsessively insecure with her looks, her weight and her age. She would flip from resourceful to ditzy in a paragraph. She constantly made stupid impulsive decisions that put her and her family in danger, had no will power and the moral compass of seven year old
I can see that she's meant to be a kind of everywoman overcoming the odds but it's a fairly insulting take on everywoman.
This is first of a series of adventures but it will be the last one I spend time on.