Night of the Wolf Author:Paul Halter Collected here are ten superb tales by today's master of the seemingly impossible crime, the Frenchman Paul Halter. Coffins dancing in a hermetically sealed crypt, a tunnel that murders people, a werewolf killer who leaves no trace on the snow, a victim killed by an invisible hand at the top of a guarded tower, a homicidal snowman that kills in ... more »front of witnesses... There cannot be a rational explanation for these and other hideous crimes; and yet there is. Each story is a glittering example of the brilliant plotting and atmosphere of foreboding that characterized the Golden Age of detective fiction.« less
The stories, brief plot and my rating (one to five stars):
The Abominable Snowman - a man is stabbed by a bayonet wielded by a snowman. (****)
The Dead Dance at Night - coffins are toppled within a sealed crypt. (***)
The Call of the Lorelei - a man drowns in a pond, possibly lured there by a siren's call (***)
The Golden Ghost - a young girl takes refuge in a miser's home when she is chased by a ghost that appears and disappears (as witnessed by the miser's friend.) (**)
The Tunnel of Death - people are killed in the middle of a soon-to-be-abandoned escalator by shots that couldn't be fired by anyone in the tunnel (*****)
The Cleaver - a man in mining-era Colorado is killed exactly the way a man many miles away dreams it happens (*****)
The Flower Girl - A visit from Father Christmas via flying reindeer and sled leads to the death of a disliked business man (*****)
Rippermania - a police inspector attempts to trap a Jack-the-Ripper copycat (**)
Murder in Cognac - A man is poisoned in his locked and watched room in his tower-house after being threatened by a former friend (***)
The Night of the Wolf - a werewolf seems to be the instrument of death in killings twenty years apart, as told by a group of hunters out for a kill (*****).
Halter's tales range from okay to wonderful; this book benefits from not having the same cast of characters in each story. Some of these stories involve the trick of "no footprints in the snow," but not all are impossible crimes. A nice mix and a book to pick up and read every so often for a change of pace.