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Dangerous Women Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Mystery maven Penzler has gathered 17 stories from top writers for an all-original suspense anthology with results that are about the same as if a master chocolatier had assembled a new sampler box: everything of high quality but with enough variety to appeal to all tastes. All the contributors are true to their own very familiar voices. Ed McBain's "Improvisation," a chilling story of two young actresses who commit murder to learn what it feels like, is cut-to-the-bone sharp. In the haunting "Cielo Azul," Michael Connelly allows both detective Harry Bosch and profiler Terry McCaleb to brood, as only they can, about a murder victim never identified. In "Dear Penthouse Forum (A First Draft)," Laura Lippman uses an original format to showcase a truly frightening woman with a most unusual collecting mania who preys on men in airports. S.J. Rozan's "The Last Kiss" features a dangerous woman who's all the more dangerous because at first she seems so sympathetic. Jeffrey Deaver's "Born Bad" is a brilliant double play, with tight characterizations and an unforgettable plot twist. It's a joy to watch these talented authors, who also include J.A. Jance, Elmore Leonard, Walter Mosley and Joyce Carol Oates, embrace the short story form and produce magic.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Mystery guru Penzler (prolific editor, bookseller, and founder of Mysterious Press) has convinced 17 contemporary mystery writers to submit never-before-published short stories for this anthology. The lineup includes plenty of heavyweights: Ed McBain, Anne Perry, Elmore Leonard, Joyce Carol Oates, and Ian Rankin. Penzler's introduction showcases the entire squad and provides a witty look at dangerous women in mysteries past, such as Philip Marlowe's Brigid O'Shaughnessy and Conan Doyle's Irene Adler. The stories, just about all of which feature a woman gleefully luring a hapless male to destruction, often rely on abrupt power shifts, as in McBain's "Improvisation," which begins with a seductress in a bar saying, "Why don't we kill somebody?" Oates sustains suspense through a pathological love letter in "Give Me Your Heart," and Laura Lippman's "Dear Penthouse Forum (A First Draft)" delivers a twisted O'Henry ending. The cumulative effect is more than a little poisonous--best to take these small ampoules of crime one at a time. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 724 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press (July 31, 2007)
  • Publication Date: July 31, 2007
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001D4W94C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #671,294 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Otto Penzler is the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop ( in New York City and is regarded as the world's foremost authority on crime, mystery and suspense fiction. He founded The Mysterious Press in 1975, which he later sold to Warner Books (1989). He reacquired the imprint in 2010 and it now publishes original books as an imprint at Grove/Atlantic, and both original works and classic crime fiction through (, in partnership with Open Road Integrated Media.

Penzler is a prolific editor, and has won two Edgar Awards, for Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection in 1977 and The Lineup in 2010. The Mystery Writers of America awarded him the prestigious Ellery Queen Award in 1994 and the Raven--the group's highest non-writing award--in 2003.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The film, "Fatal Attraction," features a dangerous woman - lethal, in fact. "The Maltese Falcon's" Brigid O'Shaughnessy is certainly a hazard. "What makes a woman dangerous?" Is she irresistible? Seductive? Does she wound with her eyes? Is she a femme fatale, "aware of her power, or utterly innocent of it?" Otto Penzler, editor, bookseller, and founder of Mysterious Press, asks this question in his Introduction to this short fiction anthology, "Dangerous Women." The answer is subjective - a matter of opinion. Seventeen outstanding authors, some of the best writers in the mystery/suspense genre, answer the question here, creatively, diabolically, deliciously. Lying, manipulation, seduction, horror, murder, secretiveness, suicide - they're all covered in these stories. "Dangerous Women" is an outstanding, wicked, absolutely amazing collection. Consistent excellence is what makes this book so special and sets it apart from the rest. Ed McBain, Michael Connelly, Joyce Carol Oates, Anne Perry, Elmore Leonard, Walter Mosley, Laura Lippman, Nelson DeMille, Thomas Cook, Andrew Klaven, John Connolly, Lorenzo Carcaterra, J. A. Jance, Jay McInerey, S. J. Rozen, Jeffrey Deaver and Ian Ranki, are all at their best here.

In Ed McBain's "Improvisation," a man approaches a tall, willowy blonde at a bar and asks her - "So, what do we do for a little excitement tonight?" The woman, a stranger, suggests, "Why don't we kill somebody?" Their mating ritual lightens up, but only momentarily. Michael Connelly's Detective Harry Bosch, says, in "Cielo Azul," that his LAPD partner always believed "the most dangerous women are beautiful in life, heartbreaking in death.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James N Simpson on March 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A sensational collection of short stories with great female characters by leading authors including Connelly, Deaver, McBain, Lippmann, Leonard, Perry. Like all compilation collections by different authors you have superb masterpieces along with stories which aren't that great. There are enough masterpieces within though to make Dangerous Women a must read!

The first story Improvisation by Ed McBain starts of with the response by a beautiful blonde (Jessica) to a guy's (Will) bar pickup line of "What do we do for a little excitement tonight?" "Why don't we kill somebody?" Will thinks she's flirting and as she pints out an unattractive loner woman to be the victim he suggests ways how they do this then still thinking its all a game asks the victim to join them.

Improvisation is not the only masterpiece within. Laura Lippman's Dear Penthouse Forum (A First Draft) has a stranded passenger who needs to sleep overnight in the terminal being offered money for a hotel by an older good samaritan lady which his conscience just won't let him take. She then offers him to stay in her guestroom at her nearby house he decides he can do this since he'll give the lonely woman certain favours in return.

Rendevous by Nelson De Mille has a Vietnam veteran recounts the tale of a beautiful sniper who targets the squad he led on patrol as lieutenant and they feared more than any male counterpart.

Ian Rainkin's Soft Spot has a pathetic prison censor named Denis who reads all incoming and outgoing mail. Like all the guards he would like a piece of the beautiful Selina who is the wife or jailed mobster Blaine. Becoming obsessed with her he learns she is having an affair and is selling Blaine's house obviously about to do a runner.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chandler on January 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am so glad I got this one. The characterizations and plots between the covers are unsurpassed. Jeffrey Deaver's story is such a wonderful read, and the whole anthology is a terrific collection of new, hip stories by the best crime writers alive today. Laura Lippman's story is incredible - what a surprise! Some ironic, some humorous in different ways, but always worth savoring. Ed McBain/Evan Hunter as always plays at the top of his game as is Elmore Leonrad -- and Andrew Klavan rocks!!! I was amazed at the level of his skill and spirit with that dangerous woman. Of course, Joyce Carol Oates and Michael Connelly are always a treat and boy, do they know femmes fatales! If you like the women of noir, you won't want this one to end!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave Wilde on January 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Here's the concept. Ask seventeen well- known authors to submit original works about "dangerous women" and see what happens. They are all good sized stories and are easy to read. Few are Mind-blowing enough to make your head spin. A worthwhile collection nonetheless.

My two favorites in the collection are Rendezvous by Nelson DeMille and Louly and Pretty Boy by Elmore Leonard. DeMille is a new name to me. But, apparently, he has a large body of work. Rendezvous is a Vietnam war era story about a lost patrol under fire from a woman sniper. It is one terrific war story and one I just couldn't put down. Interestingly, DeMille himself fought in Vietnam so the story is based on real life research.

Elmore Leonard recently left us for good and our literary world is poorer for his loss. He tells a Bonnie and Clyde era tale about a young teenage girl who falls for Pretty Boy Floyd. Louly and Floyd are two characters out of Leonatd's The Hot Kid as is Lawman Carl, the subject of The Hot Kid.

Improvisation By Ed McBain is a story about pickup lines in bars and talk willowy blondes who suggest killing someone as a way to pass the time.

Cielo Azul By Michael Connelly is another standout. It features Connelly's a Detective Harry Bosch and an unsolved murder that continues to haunt him.

Other selections in this book include Give me your heart by Joyce Carol Oates, Karma by Walter Mosley, Dear Penthouse forum (a first draft) by Laura Lippman, What she offered by Thomas H. Cook, Her lord and master by Andrew Klavan, Mr. Gray's folly By John Connell, and a thousand miles from nowhere By Lorenzo Carcaterra.
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