This year sees the launch of the Pocket Classics, a series of short works for pleasurable reading in a pocket-sized format. These books offer an intriguing and original mixture of new and varied reading experiences from a wide range of Scottish writing from different genres and all periods. Think of them as a reintroduction to the impact of the finest writing, whether non-fiction, poetry, short stories or novellas. These four stories, set at home and abroad, show Muriel Spark's characteristically witty and unbalancing powers. In 'The Executor' the niece of a famous author is pursued by an unfinished manuscript. 'Bang-bang You're Dead' mixes childhood games and white-settler affairs to paint a sinister and comic portrait of colonial life and murder by proxy in Africa. Also set in Africa, 'The Seraph and the Zambesi' tells of a Christmas pageant which has the strangest visitor, while 'Portobello Road' is a story haunted by childhood friendships and adult betrayals. Together they illustrate why Spark is regarded as one of the greatest living short story writers.