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Mystery Writers of America Presents The Blue Religion: New Stories about Cops, Criminals, and the Chase Hardcover – April 14, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (April 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316012513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316012515
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mystery Writers of America presents a high-quality anthology of 19 original stories that explore a wide range of police experiences, from newcomer Polly Nelson's superb tale set in 1864 Kansas, Burying Mr. Henry, to editor Connelly's powerful and grim Harry Bosch investigation into a young disabled boy's death, Father's Day. The sordid mean streets, depicted in Persia Walker's Such a Lucky, Pretty Girl, are nicely balanced with the lighter touches of Jon Breen's Serial Killer, a darkly comic tale in which two police detectives recount one of their cases to a community college writing class. TV writer Paul Guyot contributes one of the volume's strongest selections, What a Wonderful World, about a cop's obsessive search for the killer of a hot dog vendor. This is one of those rare themed anthologies that can be enjoyed at one sitting. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A high-quality anthology.... This is one of those rare themed anthologies that can be enjoyed at one sitting." ---Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on April 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What can a crime writer possibly do to engage you in a short story?

In the new book, The Blue Religion, T. Jefferson Parker, Greg Rucka, Leslie R. King, Michael Connelly and fifteen of America's top crime authors give you their best shots.

The stories are all what you would expect from veteran crime writers, and I found that nearly every one was able to keep my attention and satisfy the book's theme.

What I liked most about the compilation was each story provided a completely different aspect of the lives of those that protect and serve. Included are some humorous moments as in Jon L. Breen's "Serial Killer," and hopeless moments as described in Greg Ruck's "Contact and Cover." Then to cap it all off, lovers of Michael Connelly are treated to a short experience with Harry Bosch in a snippet story that addresses one of today's saddest types of accidental death.

Overall, you cannot go wrong with Blue Religion. There is something in here for everyone, and an opportunity to test-read work from authors you may not have tried on previously. I rate this 3-stars because a few in the compilation weren't actually done that well-and many of the authors included have done a lot better work.

Armchair Interviews says: This book should be in your summer reading bag.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
These entertaining nineteen tales focus on the police procedural theme. However, as Mr. Connolly explains in his introduction, for the most part the entries concentrate on the "world of the cop" as the stories "explore the burden of the badge" more so than investigative procedures. The contributions run the gamut with a strong historical by Polly Nelson to the return of Harry Bosch to a retired cop and his wife running into trouble (T. Jefferson Parker's "Skinhead Central). There are no clinkers yet the range is vast from a dark tale of a selected amnesiac ("Such a Lucky, Pretty Girl: by Persia Walker) to amusingly light (Jon Breen's "Serial Killer"). All are excellent, especially insightful is Paul Guyton's tense "What a Wonderful World" that proves a short story can contain fully developed characters; an apropos title along with Alafair Burke's "Winning" as this anthology is a wonderful look at individual members of the Blue Religion special congregation.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Todd Justman VINE VOICE on February 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
This was a lot of fun to read. I already enjoy short stories, which suit my short attention span. This book certainly delivered with different perspectives on the life of the cop, which also made this a great read. With this title, you get lots of different perspectives from different writers on the police officer: the sense of humor, the obsession, the politics, and the tactics.

I read some criticism about some of these stories not being the best work of these authors. I am not a college writing professor or anything, but I enjoyed all the stories, and I think I'm pretty picky. The stories don't beat around the bush - they get right to it and do it very well.

The stories that stuck with me (without spoilers): the hot dog cart girl, the boy who lost his dad (a London cop), the dad who left his kid in the car, and the female cops who get hazed from a colleague, who may be headed for a comeuppance.

This is also a great way to get introduced to some new authors. I didn't know anything about Connelly's Detective Bosch series but I enjoyed so much the Bosch short story I will be looking for more titles.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joanna on October 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
In all fairness, I started this book thinking the short stories would be a little different - stories written by Michael Connelly, as told to him by the officers who experienced them. As I started reading I realized it was stories by numerous writers. At times the stories lacked being thorough enough and a personal pet peeve I felt I was "left hanging" or wondering if the story really was true. A few of the stories were very intriguing, i.e. (SPOLIER) the female cop who is raped while undercover and later her husband kills the man and she covers it up to make it look like she did it. I enjoyed reading the detailed thought process she had to cover all bases to ensure her husband was not implemented. This book is a good read for busy people on the go who don't want to read a sotry that will drag on for weeks because of how busy they are - each story only takes 10-20 minutes to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit VINE VOICE on June 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
Presented under the auspices of the Mystery Writers of America, this novel contains 19 intriguing short stories, with a common theme: cops. There are police procedurals and mysteries, but more important, the stories reflect on the live of cops--as persons, on their jobs, how they perform their duties, their sense of right and wrong, and, of course, as Michael Connelly says in a short introduction, "How are we to weigh the burden of the badge if we do not carry the badge?"

The stories range from T. Jefferson Parker's story about a retired cop and how he handles a juvenile delinquent, to Alafair Burke's take on a policewoman and how her husband reacts to a gruesome event while she's on the job, to Mr. Connelly's telling of how Harry Bosch conducts an investigation into the death of a baby.

Each of the stories is well-written and absorbing. Each, of course, stands on its own. And each is worth reading. All told, the volume makes for fascinating reading. Recommended.
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