From Publishers Weekly
The first 50 pages of this giant volume are packed with valuable and fascinating material and you haven't even gotten to the stories yet. Jon L. Breen's roundup of the year 2000 in mystery and crime fiction is a deft and compact survey that manages to be both personal and wide-ranging. Edward D. Hoch's "yearbook" is equally idiosyncratic as well as most useful, while reports from such foreign parts as Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Germany and the Republic of Mystery Fandom are fascinating. As for the stories (41 different entries from 35 writers, plus a Pete Hamill New Yorker profile of Evan Hunter, which seems a bit out of place), they literally provide something for every mystery taste. There are double helpings from Kristine Kathryn Rusch (now writing a fine series as Kris Nelscott), as well as from Brendan DuBois, Clark Howard, Mat Coward, Edward D. Hoch and Jan Burke. Other fine writers from Doug Allyn to S.J. Rozan have standout single stories. "The Sleeping Detective," by Gary Phillips, could well stand as a perfect example of the pleasures to be found by reading (if not carrying around in a backpack) this weighty second annual collection from two smart and hard-working editors. Phillips puts his Los Angeles detective and donut shop owner Ivan Monk into a waking dream that manages to incorporate so many other mystery films, novels, TV and radio shows that it should be part of a test to see how deep your genre knowledge goes. (Dec. 18)Forecast: An improvement over last year's selection, this is excellent value for the money. Crime aficionados will want both this volume and the rival Best American Mystery Stories 2001 (Forecasts, Sept. 10).
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
A standout among mystery anthologies, which often do nothing more than throw together the past year's offerings with a tired "history of the genre" introduction. This collection, the second in an annual series, has heft and authority, and it breaks the typical Anglo-American bias by including stories from writers the world over, including, for example, Bob Mendes of Belgium, Miguel Agusti of Spain, and Jurgen Ehlers of Germany. Heavy hitters like Bill Pronzini, Donald Westlake, and Ed McBain weigh in with their latest (Pete Hamill's appreciation of McBain is reprinted from the New Yorker
). Capers, cozies, character puzzles, mysteries that hinge on wordplay, excursions into noir, and comic jaunts are all represented. And there's a wealth of introductory material: an able overview of current mystery trends; reports on mystery fiction from Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and Germany; and a host of "best" lists, including best Web sites for mystery lovers (the editors highly recommend a site maintained in Denmark [http://www.webfic.com/mysthome/mysthome.htm]. Connie FletcherCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved