Review: Partners in Crime: Two Logan and Steel Short Stories by Stuart MacBride

Thursday 6 August 2015
Title: Partners in Crime: Two Logan and Steel Short Stories
Author: Stuart MacBride
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: 22nd November 2012
Pages: 81
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Something fishy is happening on the isle of Jura.

DS Logan McRae gets a phone call from DI Steel ordering him to come to the island at once. One freezing night’s sleep in a hatchback and two storm-battered ferries later, Logan arrives – but there’s no sign of Steel.

She's lumped him in the middle of a policing nightmare, with bodies, and bullets, and tiny wee boats. And a dangerous hard man who’s meant to be dead…

Why is DI Steel in an even worse mood than usual?

Is it because it’s Christmas? Or maybe it's because the missing persons case she’s just caught looks like a hoax from a mile off? Or is it because she’s just been left a huge amount of money…?

One thing’s for certain: Steel’s having a bad day, and she’s hell bent on making sure Constable Guthrie has one too.

Despite being a huge fan of Stuart MacBride and his Logan McRae series, I've never actually read the Logan and Steel shorts, even though DI Roberta Steel is one of the best secondary characters in crime fiction. It's no wonder that somebody thought it would be a good idea to give her even more of a spotlight, especially in DI Steel's Bad Heir Day where she is very much the star of the show.

Short stories are tricky to get right, especially when it is two in one as both stories in Partners in Crime are incredibly short. That said Stuart MacBride manages to pack in enough humour to have you chuckling away as you read and these shorts would be great for the commute to work when you don't want to stop and start a full-length story.

People know by now that Steel is just so politically incorrect it should be ridiculous but really, it's hilarious. In Bad Heir Day she's in a rotten mood (more so than usual). She has the case of a missing person to contend with over Christmas and she's also been left with a huge amount of money, but it comes with strings attached. This is probably the funniest of the two. I for one would hate to be stuck in a car with Steel driving around Scotland solving crimes. For those that know Steel's history, some of the developments in this story will be highly amusing.

In Stramash Logan is reluctantly dragged out to the back of beyond, the isle of Jura, by Steel in a story that I was left wishing was longer because it was great. Steel thinks she's witnessed on the island two men believed to have absconded to sunnier climes and she and Laz must apprehend them. Chaos soon ensues. This would have been great as a full-length story but for a short, it was highly entertaining and Steel and Logan together on the page is always a lot of fun. Very few characters in crime fiction make me actually laugh out loud, but Steel does.

I think it's unfair to criticise these shorts as surely you know what you are getting when you pick them up. Perhaps if they were slightly longer it would be better value for money but at the time of writing this is just 99p which compared to similarly priced books on Kindle is quite the bargain. It also serves as a good taster for those who are yet to pick up a Stuart MacBride novel (so, nobody, yes?).

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