Yes, the scarecrow, painted on the cover, is on the Short List. The line-up is Peter Lovesey’s strongest ever, for not only does it feature “Needle Match,” chosen by the Crime Writers’ Association as the best short story published in 2007, but also some of his most popular detectives — Bertie, Prince of Wales, Sergeant Cribb and Rosemary and Thyme. You will be mystified by elephants in a London side street; a hearing aid heist by a gang of geriatrics; an underworld boss in search of a harp; a short, fat man who jumped for England; a brush with Adolf Hitler; and a walk on Beachey Head, the favourite suicide spot. You’ve had the call. Step up now. Surprises are guaranteed.
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