M.O. Crimes Of Practise

M.O. Crimes Of Practise
Edited By: Ed. Martin Edwards 
Release Date: 2008
Comma Press 

Crime is one of the easiest topics to write about, but one of the hardest to pull off. Crime is everywhere, when I was working as a volunteer at a charity store, people would often sneak a few 29p cuddly frogs and bolt it. What’s there M.O.? Are cuddly frogs that well sought after? Or maybe the number 29 is a cursed number which should never be used. This short story collection contains a set of crime tales a little more exciting than my own experiences with frog thieves. Plenty of murders, David would be happy…

Various writers came together to make M.O. and these writers know how to deal crime stories as a slasher knows how to slash his victims. From a mysterious blogger killer (who was after me the other year for dissing Scott Pilgrim) to a wannabe crime writer getting some first hand experience, there is a wide variety of different crimes in place and often the ideas are bold and don’t fall into tired clichés. Sometimes they do, most often seen with the more historical pieces, but the smooth flowing writing across the stories means even the blunter ideas still leave a mark. No lagging due to stuffy descriptions here and the short stories don’t  out stay their welcome thanks to the speedy pace, never bordering on being novellas. Very rarely did I do the impatient reader thing were you hold your thumb on the current page and flip to see how far off the end is. The events quickly grip you and give you the desire to commit some of your own crimes. Not that I’ve acted out any of these urges yet… right. Okay.

The biggest fault with M.O. is perhaps the tone the majority of the stories have, often comedic rather than dipping into the darker side of crime. I don’t have a problem with comedy, but the humour never approaches Malcolm Pryce’s or Jasper Fforde’s quality. Admittedly they both have a more fantastical element in their crime stories, but it highlights that these curiosities are the detectives who never quite catch the big one. Though the M.O. of these writers seems to be to entertain, and entertain they do. They’re all guilty of that.

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