Pascal pinpointed the art of short-story writing when he said “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead”. No one demonstrates this better than Gale, whose thoroughly English stories about dog shows, church concerts, nervous spinsters, fly fishing and murder are deceptively low-key. I didn’t know what to expect – I’ve never read him before – but with one story to go I still couldn’t quite pin him down. A little too middle class, possibly, for men who don’t eat quiche (one character, appalled that her partner never dreams, suggests Cornish hen lobsters as an alternative to cheese for dinner), but never dull.

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