Here's a collection I should've gotten to some time ago. Mat Coward has always been a good
writer but not until I started reading these stories did I realize that he is a truly great writer.
The best of these stories are serio-comic pieces of real latitude and depth. My favorite is the
lead story "If All is Dark." How can you not admire writing like this?
"The only contact he had with people was when he shoved their heads down toilet bowls, and he couldn’t do that to the teachers."
Or from "Reason To Believe" :
"I take it you're a thoroughgoing disbeliever in astrology?"
"Why of course?"
"Because," he said, "I have a penis."
Yet there is also great melancholy and sorrow in several of the stories, a melancholy and sorrow even some of the characters seem unaware of.
And for reasons of simple stunning plots "Nice People" is one of the most amusing crime stories I've ever read. It would have been Hitchcock's crowing achievement on his old half hour TV show.
It's impossible to overpraise this collection. Buy it now.