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Dangerous Women [Kindle Edition]

Otto Penzler
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $24.99
Kindle Price: $10.67
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

The acclaimed authors in this anthology are collectively responsible for dozens of "New York Times" bestsellers. Legendary editor Otto Penzler owns the Mysterious Bookshop in New York and is founder of the Mysterious Press and Otto Penzler books.

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)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001D4W94C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,632 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Female Villains and Heroes Within March 16, 2007
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
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Collection January 23, 2014
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Also Contians Dangerous Men
A wonderful collection of short stories about dangerous women, which usually include some dangerous men, mostly made dangerous by their own gullibility and vulnerability. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tom Phoghat Sobieski
3.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous Women
Saw "Dangerous Women" short stories listed on Nelson Demille site. Was excited to see many of my favorite authors listed; Dever, M Connelly, DeMille(of course)... Read more
Published on February 10, 2012 by avid reader/shopper
5.0 out of 5 stars HOT * HOT * HOT
Otto Penzler has knows how to build to a climax, that's for sure, and of all the hot noir anthologies he's put together, this could be the best. Read more
Published on February 22, 2006 by Avid Reader
2.0 out of 5 stars Overall? Trite and derivative
With a few exceptions, I am disappointed in this collection of shorts. Great concept but what a bunch of lousy submissions apart from Jeffery Deaver's 'Born Bad'. Read more
Published on December 10, 2005 by Eleni
5.0 out of 5 stars An audiobook anthology of original short stories featuring femme...
Dangerous Women is an audiobook anthology of original short stories featuring femme fatales and deadly anti-heroines. Read more
Published on July 5, 2005 by Midwest Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Great anthology
Only January and this may be the suspense anthology of the year. All seventeen contributions are top rate, but that should be expected by a virtual genre hall of fame. Read more
Published on November 18, 2004 by Harriet Klausner
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More About the Author

Otto Penzler (born July 8, 1942) is an editor of mystery fiction in the United States, and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, where he lives.[1]

1 Biography
2 Works
2.1 Publisher
2.2 Series Editor
2.3 Editor (Recent Books)
2.4 Guest appearances
2.5 Awards
3 References
4 External links


Penzler, who graduated from the University of Michigan, is the co-author the "Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection: for which he won an Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1977. He also wrote 101 Greatest Movies of Mystery and Suspense (2000). For the New York Sun, he wrote The Crime Scene, a popular weekly mystery fiction column that ran for five years. He has worked with authors including Elmore Leonard, Nelson DeMille, Joyce Carol Oates, Sue Grafton, Mary Higgins Clark, Robert Crais, Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke and Thomas H. Cook.

He founded The Mysterious Press, a publishing house devoted entirely to mystery and crime fiction, in 1975. Among the authors it published (works published in America for the first time, not reprints) are Eric Ambler, Kingsley Amis, Isaac Asimov, Robert Bloch, James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler, Jerome Charyn, Len Deighton, James Ellroy, Patricia Highsmith, P.D. James, H.R.F. Keating, Peter Lovesey, Ed McBain, Ross Macdonald, Marcia Muller, Ellis Peters, Ruth Rendell, Mickey Spillane, Ross Thomas, Donald E. Westlake and Cornell Woolrich. In the 1980s it was publishing more than 100 books a year and the imprint was affiliated with major publishers in England (Century-Hutchinson-Arrow), Japan (Hayakwa Publishing), Italy (Mondadori) and Sweden (Bra Bocker). The Mysterious Book Club became a division of the Book of the Month Club and Mysterious Audios an imprint with Dove Audio.

After selling The Mysterious Press to Warner Books in 1989, he created an Otto Penzler Books imprint for Macmillan (later Scribner). He moved the imprint to Carroll & Graf, then to Harcourt (later Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). He also established the Otto Penzler Books imprint in London, first with Quercus, now with Atlantic/Corvus. He reacquired The Mysterious Press name from Hachette in 2009; it is now an imprint at Grove Atlantic.

Penzler founded The Mysterious Bookshop in mid-town Manhattan and after twenty-seven years moved to Tribeca. It is now the oldest and largest mystery specialist bookstores in the world.

In 2002, he hosted a television series of great mystery films for the Turner Classic Movies channel.

He has edited more than fifty anthologies of crime fiction of both reprints and newly commissioned stories, including the prestigious Best American Mystery Stories since 1997.

Penzler served on the Board of Directors of the Mystery Writers of America for fourteen years and was awarded the organization's Ellery Queen Award and a Raven (its highest non-writing award. He won a second Edgar for editing "The Lineup," a collection of profiles of famous detectives, written by their creators.

On April 8, 2010 Swann Galleries auctioned The Otto Penzler Collection of British Espionage and Thriller Fiction. The sale represented a select portion of Penzler's private library with works by Eric Ambler, Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, John Le Carre, William Le Queux, H. C. McNeile, E. Phillips Oppenheim, and Dennis Wheatley. Penzler also befriended many noted authors including Ambler, Ken Follett, John Gardner and others, who inscribed copies of their works. "British spy novels are among the greatest of all works in the mystery genre," Penzler said in the introduction to the Swann auction catalogue. "This is the first auction ever devoted entirely to this important literary genre."

Penzler lives in New York City and in Connecticut with his wife, Lisa Atkinson.

Otto Penzler Books. An imprint at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2005-2010).
The Armchair Detective Library. Reprinted classic crime fiction for collectors and libraries.
The Mysterious Press. Established in 1975. Sold to Time/Warner in 1989; reacquired by Penzler in 2009 and now an imprint at Grove/Atlantic.
The Armchair Detective. A quarterly journal for studies of mystery and suspense fiction (17 years).

Series Editor

The Best American Mystery Stories. Annual series since 1997, with guest editors. Writer Robert B. Parker wrote "Otto Penzler knows more about crime fiction than most people know about anything, and proves it once more in this brilliant anthology."
The Best American Crime Writing. Annual series since 2002, with Thomas H. Cook and guest editors.

Editor (Recent Books)

"The Big Book of Ghost Stories" (2012)
The Big Book of Adventure Stories (2011)
"Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop" (2010)
"The Greatest Russian Stories of Crime and Suspense" (2010)
"The Best American Noir of the Century" (2010)
"The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories: (2010)
"Agents of Treachery" (2010)
The Lineup: The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives (2009)
The Vampire Archive (2009)
Black Noir: Mystery, Crime, and Suspense Stories by African-American Writers (2009)
The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps (2007)
Dead Man's Hand: Crime Fiction at the Poker Table (2007)
The Vicious Circle: Mystery and Crime Stories by Members of the Algonquin Round Table (2007)
Murder in the Rough (2006)
Murder at the Racetrack (2006)
Murder at the Foul Line (2006)
Murder is My Racquet (2005)
Dangerous Women (2005)
Murderer's Row (2001)
Murder On the Ropes (2001)
Best American Mystery Stories of the Century. Edited with Tony Hillerman. (2000)
Murder and Obsession (1999)
The 50 Greatest Mysteries of All Time (1998)
Murder For Revenge (1998)
Murder For Love (1996)
The Crown Crime Companion : The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time. Edited with Mickey Friedman. (1995)

Guest appearances

Author Lawrence Block wrote a Christmas story, "The Burglar Who Smelled Smoke", set in The Mysterious Bookshop, where Otto Penzler appeared in character.[2]

Author Elmore Leonard's novel, Up In Honey's Room, features an escaped World War II German soldier, a Waffen SS major named Otto Penzler.[3][4]


2010. Edgar Award from Mystery Writers of America. For The Lineup. Best Biographical/Critical Work
2003. Raven Award from Mystery Writers of America. As owner of Mysterious Bookshop.
1994. Ellery Queen Award from Mystery Writers of America. Contributions to mystery publishing.
1977. Edgar Award from Mystery Writers of America. For The Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection. Best Critical/Biographical Work.

External links

Mysterious Bookshop
Otto Penzler

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