I have to say I am not a great fan of short stories, but writing some of them last year was an interesting exercise. It made me work on cutting the waffle and focusing on the main points. I do not think I have succeeded all that well. The problem I find with most short stories is that they do not develop plot or characters sufficiently.
There are some exceptions and I need to re-read some of them. Somerset Maugham was the best, in my opinion. Another good one was P G Wodehouse. The French writer, Guy de Maupassant could also do it. I felt I had read a book when I read one of their short stories. Last year, I read a collection of short stories by Agatha Christie and I definitely prefer her novels. It was her longer short stories that I enjoyed most too.
I read some recently which I quite enjoyed, but I did not find them great. I did like the pace and style. The stories were easy to read and kept moving. I did read them all. They were not tedious. The surprises were not that surprising to me. I found myself half-expecting the endings I got. In some, I felt nothing much had happened. I did not feel that each of the characters stood out enough. I mean that I could not readily say what was different about each one. I am not referring to physical description, although the writer was a minimalist, like myself, in that respect, which I like. I mean personality, even speech patterns. I know how hard it is to draw out personality in such a short space but that is our challenge.
In most of them there was not much about the location. I do not mind, but I believe many people like to feel they know where they are. I set Highwaypersons in Wales, where I used to live, to give it a sense of place. To be honest, I get tired of long descriptions of countryside or of buildings, but it is a matter of taste.
I have just bought a novel by this same author. It will be interesting to see if she does better when she allows herself the space to let the characters and plot develop. It has a good opening.