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Crimes by Moonlight: Mysteries from the Dark Side Paperback – April 5, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
The Mystery Writers of America presents an all-original anthology sure to appeal to Twilight fans with an interest in crime. While vampires are well represented among the 20 selections, most notably Parnell Hall's darkly humorous Death of a Vampire, bestseller Harris ensures that werewolves, ghosts, and magicians also get their due. Harley Jane Kozak does a superb job of integrating a ghost into a contemporary setting in Madeeda, in which an expectant mother is concerned over her two-year-old twins' visions of a bad witch. A phantom ship figures in Lou Kemp's In Memory of the Sibylline, a highly effective horror story set in the 19th century. Even Mike Hammer gets into X-Files mode in Max Allan Collins's and Mickey Spillane's Grave Matter, which successfully introduces a supernatural element into the case of a series of mysterious deaths in the ironically named town of Hopeful, N.Y. Other contributors include William Kent Krueger, Margaret Maron, and Carolyn Hart. (Apr.)
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.
“A very fine [collection]…fabulous…crisp…funny.”—Women of Mystery
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(Stories are listed in the books order)
1) Dahlia Underground - Charlaine Harris - vamp - Story should be read RIGHT after Harris's Southern Vampire Bk7 "All together Dead". Dahlia Lynley-Chivers wakes up buried in the pyramid rubble (see/read A.T.D.) This story contain the local vamp's reaction/retaliation to the explotion. It may be short but it's a nice little addition to the Sookie series plus I like Dahlia and want to read more of her. At this point this is the third short with her in it plus she make a cameo appearance in A.T.D. (also in Tacky, Bacon) This story should be an epilog at the end of A.T.D.
2) Hixton - William Kent Krueger - Reporter D'Angelo tracks down an old retired cop to hear the true story about 5 missing boys and gets more than he expected - this one is a type of remake of a common children's story, can't tell you which one or I ruin the ending. - not to my "taste" (you'll get my joke after you read it)
3) Small Change - Margaret Maron - shifter - Laurel (13yr old) set out in an unusual way to catch the thief of her dad's antique store - kind of cute little story I would be interested in giving one of her longer stories a try
4) The Trespassers - Brendan Dubois - Police Chief Hoyt Graham is called in the middle of the night to a local famous house to find 1 half of a 2 man TV ghost hunting team dead - not great but worth a little time if you get this book.
5) Madeeda - Harley Jane Kozak - Jane England, a pregnant mother and her twin son's get messages from a purple and green witch - this one is very weird and hard to describe.
6) House of Horrors - S.W. Hubbard - The Harrigan family spend the day at the Jersey Shore bonding with their new adopted 9yr. old daughter and a teen boy goes missing in the House of Horrors. - didn't care for this one at all
7) Sift, Almost Invisible, Through - Jeffrey Somers - a man gives a series of photos of himself taken over a year's time all featuring the same mystery man in the background to PI Philip K. Marks. Who or what is this man?
8) The Bedroom Door - Elaine Viets - Leila is warned by her "cursed" grandmother that her business partner will die in 3 days.
9) The Conqueror Worm - Barbara D'Amato - Neal Hofstra received e-mails from an old friend ... a dead friend
10) In Memory of the Sibylline - Lou Kemp - The events aboard a ship in the 1800's and its mysterious guest- an interesting story, might be worth a look at others by this author, maybe.
11) The Bloodflower - Martin Meyers - how having the right/wrong apartment can change 1 women's life forever- didn't care for this story.
12) The Awareness - Terrie Farley Moran - a banshee investigates the murder of one of her charges - has some interesting possibilities for a book or series here.
13) Tadesville - Jack Fredrickson - the life of a banjo player on the road, it never pays to be greedy - I'll take a pass on this one
14) Limbo - Steve Brewer - Mercer wakes up dead on an otopsy table and sets off to find his killer
15) The Insider - Mike Wiecek - Detective Clark is asked to investigate a ghost giving stock tips. Is it legal or insider trading?
16) Swing Shift - Dana Cameron - Jake Steuben is called in by his FBI friend to go undercover to find the source of a governmental leak to the Nazis. - a little interesting, shows some promise for a series/book.
17) Riding High - Carolyn Hart - Bailey Ruth Raeburn a ghost/emissary from Heaven kills time after completing her mission.
18) Grave Matter - Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane - Mike Hammer a WW2 vet gets news an old war buddy is dead, he goes to investigate since no one else will, not even the police.
19) Death of a Vampire - Parnell Hall - goth college student hires P.I. Stanley Hastings to first find out if her boyfriend really is a vampire, then find him after he goes missing - not to bad of a story
20) Taking the Long View - Toni L.P. Kelner - vampire couple Mark and Stella go to a vampire birthday party were another vamp ends up dead. Who is the killer? - cute, has possibilities for more.
As I have NOT read anything by most of these authors and they are sooo short I can't really comment much. (Think a chapter length per story.) Several of them I suspect are like Harris's story and part of a series that would make the short better/fill in the blanks. I had to struggle to get myself to finish this book because I didn't like the majority of it. I still wish they had cut out most of them and giving us longer shorts so we could get a better idea if it is worth checking out any of the other authors or not. Even the stories I think hold promise I don't know if I well ever bother to look for more or not with such a small taste. I've read enough books that had the idea for a great story but no ability to complete it.
All in all I would only recommend this book to someone that is getting it because one of the stories are part of a series they already have and only if you "really" want to read the short. I would not recommend it to a new reader. If you are looking at this book as an anthology to find a new author try a different one with fewer stories. If you want it for Harris's story like I did and have the patience wait and see if she comes out with another book like "A Touch of Dead" that groups her shorts into one book. I didn't have the patience myself. :( But my guess is she will.
One of my favorites in Small Change by Margaret Maron - it deals with shape changers and has a side issue about bullies. If a bully chases you around a corner and suddenly finds himself confronting a tiger, well... The main issue involves concealing onself to do surveillance. You can be an inconspicuous vase sitting on a shelf, or maybe a cigar store Indian.
Other stories deal with vampires, ghosts, etc. A ghost may stick around looking for revenge, and you may get involved in a relationship with a vampire.