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Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy by [Stabenow, Dana]
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Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Length: 324 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This follow-up to Powers of Detection (2006) breaks no new ground, but offers 12 stories with enough well-paced variety to keep readers happy. In Charlaine Harris's notable Sookie Stackhouse tale, Lucky, one insurance agents good luck makes him a target. A resurrected Humphrey Bogart is murdered in Carole Nelson Douglas's Bogieman while Santa Claus investigates the murder of an elf in John Straley's Weight of the World. On the lighter side, a divorcée gets used to a menagerie of ghostly housemates in Sharon Shinn's The House of Seven Spirits and a young woman confronts a cave dragon turned loan shark to solve her fathers disappearance in Laura Anne Gilman's Illumination. Strong tales outnumber the weaker ones by a considerable margin and will satisfy fans of both genres. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Dana Stabenow is the Edgar Award-winning author of Fire and Ice, So Sure of Death, and several other acclaimed mysteries. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska.

Product Details

  • File Size: 640 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (December 1, 2008)
  • Publication Date: December 2, 2008
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001FA0NMY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,720 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Renee Huddleston on March 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
I went looking for this book to further my desire to read all of the stories from the world of Sookie Stackhouse. A red light flashed when I couldn't locate it in any of the libraries in our metropolitan area but, heck, I'm game! The book is neither terrible nor great. If you're looking for a bit of light reading before bed, the stories lend themselves to that timeframe. Not bloody enough to inspire nightmares nor disturbing enough to leave you cowering under the covers, they are engaging enough to help you unwind from the true horrors of our current economic plight. Ms Harris entry did, indeed, flesh out the Stackhouse universe. However, I once again encountered the only problem I have with her work: poor continuity. It isn't a deal breaker, but for OCD fans it can be irritating. (Especially for "downsized" copywriters who would love to get a chance at editing the next editions for accuracy! ;-))

Final take: not great literature, but fun enough if you enjoy the genre!
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Format: Paperback
These superb twelve new tales focus on the convergence of mystery and suspense inside a fantasy realm. The stories are all well written, holding up nicely to its predecessor collection (see POWERS OF DETECTION). Charlaine Harris provides a Sookie entry while Simon R. Green returns to the Nightside and the editor Ms. Stabenow takes her fans back to Mnemosynea for what she describes as a "Seer and Sword" thriller. The other entries are strong with deep characters such as Laura Anne Gilman's loan shark dragon star of "Illumination". Carole Nelson Douglas' "Bogieman" answers one of the deepest fundamental questions of the universe: who wants Sam Spade dead (than again who does not might be easier to answer)? Likewise John Straley responds to another question of the ages: what does Santa do during his off season? Whether it is Donna Andrews's Gwynn the apprentice returning to cast a "spellbound" on her fans to read her story or Mike Doogan a "Glamour" satirizing the sub-genre, readers will enjoy this compilation. The remaining four are excellent contributions by top tier authors (Michael A. Stackpole, Sharon Sinn, Michael Armstrong and Laurie R. King).

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Paperback
Short story compilations are always a crap shoot. It's unlikely that anyone will be thrilled by EVERY story in the book. Unusual Suspects isn't an exception to this rule, but I'm glad I sought it out.

That's largely because these authors are all household names, at least if your household has a big fan of mystery or science fiction and fantasy. (And really, how could it NOT?!) The book has 12 short stories from Donna Andrews, Michael Armstrong, Mike Doogan, Carole Nelson Douglas, Laura Anne Gilman, Simon R. Green, Charlaine Harris, Laurie King, Sharon Shinn, Dana Stabenow, Michael Stackpole, and John Straley. I've read work by a few of those authors (and I've broken bread with two of them), but I certainly wasn't familiar with the work of every contributor.

Stabenow, who compiled and edited the stories, gave the authors a pretty wide guideline: paranormal mysteries. As a result, the subjects addressed are all over the map, from haunted houses to ghost stories to fantasy worlds that just so happen to have a random dead body to deal with. I rather suspect you'll look first at the authors you already like (which meant I flipped directly to Laurie King's haunted-house story, which I quite enjoyed). But then I curled up with the rest, some of which have a distinct "heavy fantasy" feel (like Stackpole's "Looks Are Deceiving") and others a cozy mystery flavor (like Sharon Shinn's contribution). I think there was only one short story that lost my interest, causing me to skip forward to the next one in the book.

Like a lot of mystery and SF/F fans, I find an author I like and I tend to read EVERYthing they've written. I assumed, correctly, that this short story collection would give me a few new authors to seek out. I'm sure you'll feel the same way.
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Format: Paperback
This anthology includes twelve stories from well-known authors such as Charlaine Harris and Simon R. Green, two of my favorite authors. I have never read anything by the others - Carole Nelson Douglas, Laurie R. King, Michael A. Stackpole, Sharon Shinn, Mike Doogan, Donna Andrews, Michael Armstrong, John Straley, Anne Gilman, and lastly, Dana Stabenow. Charlaine's story, Lucky, features the heroine of her popular series, Sookie Stackhouse which coupled with her housemate do some detective work for her insurance agent. Douglas' Bougieman is about Delilah, a PI, solving the mystery of who stuck a corkscrew in the chest of a CinSim; Stackpole's Looks Are Deceiving, Primin has been called to found out who's trying to poison the king, even though he wouldn't lose asleep over him dying. The House of Seven by Shinn features Erica, a writer in the middle of a divorce who moves into a haunted house and becomes friends with the ghosts. Doogan's Glamour was one of the ones I really enjoyed, it's about Alf trying to find his missing daughter with the help of some pretty strange character.

Those are just a few of the stories featured in this anthology. I very much enjoyed each one and I've found a lot of new authors that I will definitely check out more of their works. I just wish some of the stories would have been longer, like Illumination by Laura Anne Gilman which was about Bonnie trying to find her dad, Zaki, who has gone missing. I really enjoyed it and would have loved it there was a bit more but that's the thing with anthologies, they're short stories. Green's Appetite for Murder was also a great one, but I'm a big fan of his Nightside series.

Unusual Suspects is fill with exciting, mysterious, funny stories that will please fans of both mystery and fantasy. It will introduced readers to great new authors and help them revisit the worlds they already loved.
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