- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Orion (October 21, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 075286663X
- ISBN-13: 978-0752866635
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,889,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Best American Mystery Stories: Bk.4 Paperback – October 21, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Quality writing from some of the biggest names in the genre marks the 10th collection in this series, though Turow concedes in the introduction that the 21 stories are more crime tales than mysteries. Walter Mosley contributes the collection's standout, "Karma," a classic noir exercise that brings the sweat and despair of the characters to life. Jeffery Deaver's "Born Bad" and Jane Haddam's "Edelweiss" are also solid entries, with nifty plot twists reminiscent of the TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents and the short stories of Roald Dahl. A number of stories share the same hook, though, which lessens the impact, and the editor's omission of even one fair-play whodunit will disappoint some readers. Series editor Otto Penzler provides his usual cogent, candid foreword. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* "If you like all your characters living at the end of a story, this may not be the book for you," writes guest editor Turow in the introduction to the latest installment in this superb series, now in its tenth year. Indeed, homicide rests at the icy heart of these 21 taut tales, set in locales ranging from small-town Indiana and the Texas Hill Country to an ominous rock canyon on the outskirts of Las Vegas. Mystery fans will welcome the diversity of voices here, from veterans Walter Mosley, Joyce Carol Oates, Elmore Leonard, and the late Ed McBain ("Improvisation," the last short story he wrote, begins with the tantalizing line, "Why don't we kill somebody?") to lesser-known but no-less--impressive talents Alan Heathcock, Jeff Somers, and Mike MacLean. Among the best: Edgar winner Wendy Hornsby's "Dust Up," in which a fierce female wildlife conservationist overcomes a trio of Mob thugs, and novelist Andrew Klavan's mordant "Her Lord and Master," which serves up equal doses of sadomasochism and suspense. According to series editor Otto Penzler, the number of entries, culled from periodicals, literary journals, and e-zines, has increased nearly tenfold over the years (Penzler considered a "quaint" 500 in 1997). Copious contributors' notes reveal the fiendishly clever minds behind this criminal dim sum. A showcase series finishes its first decade on a resoundingly high note. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Unfortunately for me I'd already read the great collection Dangerous Women before this so about a third of the stories inside here I had already read. Also because that collection was a fairly niche product being an anthology with strong female villains and other characters, the result is the 2006 edition of The Best American Mystery Stories also is very heavy with this factor. I recommend you get both books. If you want to read my reviews of those stories both in this and in Dangerous Women click on that book's link, I'll concentrate on the best of the stories within this collection not in that one.
Dust Up by Wendy Hornsby is my pick of the stories by authors not many people would have heard of before. Pansy is a raptor watcher who is witnessing the birth of an endangered eagle. Hit men out of Vegas murder a human then murder the mother of the endangered chick which Pansy is watching. Pansy is furious and will do whatever it takes to stop them killing the chick as well. She leads them on a great bike/car chase where she plans on getting her vengeance before returning to the Nevada canyon to help the bird.
I also thought it was great to finally read a story by C.J. Box that doesn't have park ranger Joe Pickett in it, not because I don't usually enjoy those, it's just that great authors are never tested until they can show they can write something different which is exactly what he did with Pirates of Yellowstone. This story is the tale of a couple of Czech guys on a working visa who have arrived in Yellowstone only to find their promised jobs were not kept by their employer. In exchange for board they help out a struggling mother in the meantime and decide that blackmail is their only way to prosper in America.
I thought Jane Haddam's story Edelweiss was also up there quality wise about the plot by two high school girls to murder their next door neighbour who babys her cat.
You can always rely on Laura Lippman to produce a great short story and I guess the only reason they didn't use the story she wrote in Dangerous Women was because the one she wrote in Cocaine Chronicles was even better. The Crack Cocaine Diet has a couple of superficial white teenagers venturing into the hood to buy some cocaine so they will lose weight and make the guys who dumped them look stupid in front of their friends at an upcoming party.
Since Amazon doesn't list the stories and authors on this webpage for some reason, I will do so for those interested.
Theft by Karen E Bender
Pirates of Yellowstone by C.J. Box
Why Bugsy Seal Was a Friend of Mine by James Lee Burke
Born Bad by Jefferey Deaver
Edelweiss by Jane Haddam
Texas heat by William Harrison
Peacekeeper by Alan Heathcock
A.K.A. Moses Rockefella by Emily Holmes II
Dust Up by Wendy Hornsby
Her Lord and Master by Andrew Klevan
Louly and Pretty Boy by Elmore Leonard
The Crack Cocaine Diet by Laura Lippman
Improvisation by Ed McBain
McHenry's Gift by Mike Maclean
Karma by Walter Mosley
So Help Me God by Joyce Carol Oates
Smile by Emily Roboteau
Ina Grove by R.T. Smith
Ringing the Changes by Jeff Somers
Vigilance by Scott Wolven
A great collection, excellent value for money!