Library of the World’s Best Mystery and Detective Stories – Edited by Julian Hawthorne

One of my favorite things about older stories, especially short stories, is that there is always a lesson in morals. Sometimes it is obvious, and sometimes you never see it coming. But either way, they are fun to read, and you are more than likely to learn something while you are at it!

I will be highlighting some of these great short stories included in this book over the next couple of days. I hope you enjoy the reviews as much as I enjoyed the stories!

HENRI RENÉ ALBERT GUY DE MAUPASSANT (1850-93)

The Necklace – A charming twist on a story of trying to deceive. A woman loses her friend’s diamond necklace. Instead of being honest, her husband and herself buy another one, and spend the next ten years living in poverty as they struggle to pay off the loan. Finally feeling free by having the loan paid off, Mrs. Loisel tells the friend of the burden they had carried for 10 years.

Her friend tells her the diamond necklace she lost was paste, and only worth mere change compared to what they spent on the replacement necklace.

The Necklace book cover

An Uncomfortable Bed – A man, fearing he is going to be the victim of the pranks of his friends on an overnight stay, decides to sleep elsewhere for his own safety. In doing so; he manages to set himself up for a thing exactly as he was trying to avoid.

Ghosts – Not so much a ghost story, as it is a story about how some people will go to great measures to swindle others out of financial or material gains that they have no right to.

The Confession – 2 sisters devoted to each other spend their lives unmarried, living together, rather than have one of them be alone. The great sacrifice made by one sister becomes even more apparent when the other has a death-bed confession to make.

The Horla, or Modern Ghosts – The final short story by Maupassant, it is a journey of psychosis, particularly the author’s own. Is this story true, partly true, or strictly a great dream out of the mind of this great writer? You will have to read it to decide for yourself.

Guy de Maupassant Image

Per his biography page, he did suffer from psychosis brought on by syphilis he contracted as a child. He attempted suicide by cutting his throat with a knife, and was committed to a hospital where he later died.

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