Cover of Senior Sleuths: A Large Print Anthology of Mysteries and Puzzlers
Book 436 Anthology 1989
The New Hugo Winners Norby and Yobo’s Great Adventure
A mule
Asimov fan
2 spaceships-and-suns
Target reader

Sit back, dear reader, and enjoy this original large print mystery anthology. But don’t get too comfortable; you’ll need to be on your toes to notice the clues in each of these intriguing tales. As senior citizen and prolific author Isaac Asimov writes in his Introduction, here the mysteries are solved not by the brashness of muscles and youth, but by sharp wits, experience, and intellect. In this collection, you’ll find many of your favorite detectives, including the inimitable Sherlock Holmes, beloved Miss Marple, and jovial Father Brown. You’ll also meet other able senior sleuths from all walks of life, in stories by such famed authors as Charlotte MacLeod, John Dickson Carr, and Hugh Pentecost.

The stories are filled with suspense, spiced with humor, and punctuated with clever twists. Some you will solve, others will perplex you, all will surely entertain you!

This is the first “large print” book I’ve read—whether I’ll read more in the future or not depends on the winner of the race between ebook technology and advancing presbyopia. It was a bit jarring at first. The print is larger but the pages aren’t, so frills like margins, headers, and footers are left off. I got used to it, however, soon enough.

As for the stories, I can’t say I liked them much, but, as usual, I’m not a mystery buff—and particularly, I’m not an elderly mystery buff with weakening eyesight who wants to read about detectives from my own generation—so I daren’t recommend (or not) this book based on my own impression.

Asimov is represented by a Griswold mystery, “Hot or Cold,” which is a major disappointment. Henry is almost old enough to be a “senior sleuth” himself and, to be frank, the Black Widower mysteries are much better on the whole than the Union Club mysteries. (However, the theme of “Hot or Cold” is immortality and the staving off of death, so one may assume that it fits the theme unusually well.) In particular, “Hot or Cold” isn’t one of the better Griswold mysteries, so its presence is a double disappointment.

Equally disappointing is “His Last Bow,” the last (chronologically) of the Sherlock Holmes stories and the only one in which the Great Detective can be considered a senior sleuth—and yet a very poor Sherlock Holmes story, just possibly my least favorite of them all.

We’ve also got a Miss Marple mystery, a Father Brown mystery and so on. The stories are generally competent enough, but I can’t say that I personally enjoyed them.

Maybe in another forty or fifty years I will, however. You know, when I’m really old. Who knows?

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