Who could imagine that a woman might use a frozen leg of lamb to kill her husband--and then feed it to the investigating police? Or that a greedy group of art dealers would stop at nothing to separate a poor man from a valuable picture--that's tattooed on his back?
These thirteen tales will keep readers spellbound from the opening lines until the surprise-twist endings that are always immensely satisfying. Roald Dahl is one of the few authors ever to be so hugely successful as an author for both children and adults. He was a master of the adult short story and his popular anthologies showcase his skill as a sleight of hand artist. The stories in this new collection have been specially selected as an introduction for teenagers to the adult writings of one of the greatest storytellers ever.
"'This is going to be a bit of a shock to you, I'm afraid,' he said." With those words, Patrick Maloney seals his fate. He has no idea that his mousy wife, Mary, isn't about to take his abandonment of their marriage lightly. He never sees the frozen leg of lamb that hits him squarely in the noggin. And he'll never know how tidily Mary cleans up the evidence--by having the local police dine on the murder weapon! The late Roald Dahl, best known for children's novels such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, also wrote many wonderfully wicked short stories, like the aforementioned "Lamb to the Slaughter," collected in Skin, a succinct, darkly humorous anthology for teen readers. Besides the murderous Mary Maloney, a host of other odd characters will leave teens gasping with surprise or chuckling with guilty laughter. In "The Surgeon," Dr. Robert Sandy is given a priceless diamond in exchange for saving a life, promptly loses it, then recovers it again from the strangest of places. "An African Story" chronicles a lonely mountain hermit's bid for revenge that involves a deadly black mamba snake, and "The Sound Machine" describes how a wacky inventor nearly drives himself mad when he creates a contraption that allows him to pick up noises outside the human range of hearing. There is something for the naughty side of everyone in this Twilight Zone-ish compilation, a recommended read for fans of Dahl's other teen short-story collection, The Umbrella Man. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert