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The Mysterious West Mass Market Paperback – September 22, 1995


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; Reprint edition (September 22, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061092622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061092626
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA?Prime-cut short stories from some of the best contemporary mystery writers, including Bill Pronzini, Marcia Muller, Wendy Hornsby, J.A. Jance, and Dana Stabenow. The Western settings range from the bleak, rugged land of the Dakotas to ice-locked Alaska; from the misty coast of California to the flat Texas landscape. Heroes and heroines include a runaway wife determined to seek justice for her father's death; a detective in search of two elusive young boys; and Midnight Louie, a cat who saves a young girl's life. This stunning collection, selected and introduced by Hillerman, offers readers some wonderful choices in fiction. Each story is strikingly different in tempo, plot, and setting, yet each is part of and contributes to the diversified world of the mysterious West.?Pam Spencer, Chapel Square Media Center, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Morris (American literature, Pennsylvania State Univ., Erie) conducted 15 interviews between 1988 and 1992 of authors writing primarily of the American West. The interviewees are all "postmodernist" and "postregionalist" in their perspectives, sharing an ambiguous and ambivalent attitude toward place and the mythos that represents it. Some of these writers still look to the past but reinterpret it, such as Ron Hansen, Molly Gloss, and Ivan Doig; others, like William Kittredge, seek to demythologize it. Among the writers interviewed are several female voices (Gloss, Gretel Ehrlich, and Mary Clearman Blew), who offer a new vision of the roles played by women in shaping the American West. All of them yield valuable insights into what direction the new Western literary tradition seems to be headed. Novelist Hillerman's volume, in contrast, is far less weighty. It contains 20 short stories, primarily mystery and detective fiction, such as Marcia Muller's "Forbidden Things" and Karen Kijewski's "Tule Fog," interspersed with an occasional fantastical tale. The fictional landscapes here range from the desolation, silence, and danger of Death Valley, and the small, dying towns of southern Colorado to the sophisticated originality and zaniness of Berkekey, California. Across these pages march university protesters, ranch hands, and Yurok Indians. Together, they give life to a multifaceted landscape that is currently undergoing redefinition, as Morris's volume of interviews amply demonstrates. There is no overlap between the writers in these two works. For this reason, owning both works would give a novice reader of Western literature a useful variety. For public library collections.
Marie L. Lally, Alabama Sch. of Mathematics & Science, Mobile
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Tony Hillerman was the former president of the Mystery Writers of America and received its Edgar® and Grand Master awards. His other honors include the Center for the American Indian's Ambassador Award, the Silver Spur Award for the best novel set in the West, and the Navajo Tribe's Special Friend Award. He lived with his wife in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

As expected, a fun and easy to read book.
David Barton
Bookmarking the page at the end of one story means you don't have to page back in a long story to recall what's happening.
S. Sweeney
These stories are written by really great writers who tell stories of the West.
Marilynne Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been reading a lot of novels lately. 600-pagers. So when I found this collections of short stories, I gave it a try. I love the West; I love short stories; why not a change of pace. Hillerman has collected stories set in the West, not western stories. At first I bridled: Hillerman without Navajos? But once I got into the first story, I was hooked. This is the only collection I have ever read whose stories are ALL good, and there are a lot of stories in the book. I liked the characters, the locations, the stories, and the surprise that most of the stories were by women. I hadn't expected that. A favorite? That would be tough. How about three: "Nooses Give" by Dana Stabenow--ridding the Tundra of bootleggers; "A Woman's Place" by D. R. Meredith--Highwater, Texas never saw no lady judge before!; and "With Flowers in Her Hair" by M. D. Lake--you CAN go back, but it may not be very nice there. What did I hate about the book? Closing the back cover.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 29, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the better anthologies of mystery stories that I have read. The Western theme works well to tie it all together, though for some authors it is apparent only from the location of the story. I enjoyed the short submissions from authors whose full length works I have already read - including D.R. Meredith, J.A. Jance and Karen Kijewski. The most notable reason to get this collection is to be exposed to authors you may not normally choose. A couple I found here and had to investigate further were Dana Stabenow (writes about an Eskimo female investigator - excellent stories) and Linda Grant - who I have only read in other short story collections
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
THE MYSTERIOUS WEST Edited by Tony Hillerman
This is an ecclectic collection of short stories in settings that rage the American West by a wonderful variety of writers. They are all new, never before published, stories.
Each story is a "mystery" of some sort. I found them all to be quite facinating, even if most are not about cats. One story is most decidedly about a cat, Midnight Louie.
Louie has his own series of novels. The short story in this anthology is a good example of Midnight Louie's other adventures.
If you or your purrrson like mysteries and stories of susspense, deceit and excitement, this is a great book to have. The stories are completey engrossing, easy to read and a treat! Take the book along when you have to wait for your next medical, dental or other appointment. Each tale is like a piece of gormet canip--a pleasure that almost doesn't last long enough.
A book for adult readers, but without sleaze, or the need for parental discression!
Twist, a prrroud member of CLAW, and the CLAW Bookstore Committee
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marilynne Smith on January 16, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although this book has the same Hillerman brand as all his other books, the writing is done by authors who write about the West. I was a bit disappointed when I realized this, but the disappointment didn't last. Hillerman knows his mystery writers as well as he knows the West.

These stories are written by really great writers who tell stories of the West. Each story is a keeper. If Hillerman hadn't spent his life writing books, he certainly could have found work in the publishing industry industry for his sense of who's a great writer.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I continue my efforts to try and read short stories between my regular rotation of longer works and am happy to say that I’ve really come to appreciate the form. I still prefer full length novels, probably because I enjoy falling deeply into the world of whatever novel I happen to be reading and often find myself desiring to continue wallowing there instead of coming out and facing the real world. But the craft of writing a high quality short story is a difficult thing to accomplish and I am always amazed when I read a good one and realize how much I have come to know the characters and their situation in only 20-30 pages.

This volume, put together by the esteemed Tony Hillerman, is packed with good ones. It’s important to note that these are all stories that are set in The West, not “Westerns”. The West has always been a great setting for stories for me, especially mysteries and I enjoyed every one of these entries. As always with collections of these kinds, some are better than others, but I didn’t read a single stinker in all 20 stories. Several great authors have stories here including Robert Campbell, D.R. Meredith, M.D. Lake, J.A. Jance, Dana Stabenow, and Bill Pronzini. Of course the downside of reading collections like this is all of the authors who have now intrigued me to search out other stories and novels they have written.

Well deserving of the Anthony Award for Best Short Story Collection in 1995 (literary award for mystery writers).
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of those books you want to tell people about, and find more ways to call it to the attention of other readers. For me, The Mysterious West was a surprisingly rewarding used-book-store find. If you want to try out authors of mystery stories set in the West, it would be difficult -- maybe impossible -- to find a better introduction than this one. I particularly enjoyed stories that Hillerman included from Linda Grant and Harold Adams. A few of their signature mysteries are still available through Amazon.
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