The Best American Mystery Stories 2009

( 6 )


Best-selling novelist Jeffery Deaver edits this latest collection of the genre's finest from the past year. Featuring "gritty tales told with panache," this is a "must-read for anybody who cares about crime stories" (Booklist).

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Best-selling novelist Jeffery Deaver edits this latest collection of the genre's finest from the past year. Featuring "gritty tales told with panache," this is a "must-read for anybody who cares about crime stories" (Booklist).

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Like previous anthologies in this “best of” series, the impressive 13th volume favors crime stories over whodunits. As series editor Otto Penzler notes in his foreword, “it has become increasingly difficult to find... a new murder method, or an original way to hide a vital clue” (though some may wonder why Deaver passed over Hal White’s impossible crime puzzler, “Murder at the Fall Festival,” listed in the appendix of “Other Distinguished Mystery Stories of 2008”). Readers interested in psychology will be more than satisfied by such tales as Joyce Carol Oates’s “Dear Husband,” a heartrending first-person account of a mother who slaughtered her children, and Tom Bissell’s “My Interview with the Avenger,” about a vigilante superhero. As always, part of the pleasure derives from exposure to writers who have yet to gain the acclaim they deserve, such as Randy Rohn (“The Man Who Fell in Love with the Stump of a Tree”) and Jonathan Tel (“Bola de la Fortuna”). (Oct.)\
Kirkus Reviews
Series editor Penzler's preference for trolling literary journals instead of relying on the usual mystery magazines and anthologies pays big dividends. Not a single one of the 20 reprints here is a dud. Standouts among the stories produced by mystery veterans are James Lee Burke's parable of a prison-camp inmate who refuses to box ("Big Midnight Special"); Chuck Hogan's account of the hamburger that will be a condemned convict's last meal ("Two Thousand Volrs"); and Kristine Kathrine Rusch's historical fantasy of a killer whose methodical execution of FBI agents reaches all the way to the top ("G-Men"). But there's excellent, if more formulaic work by Clark Howard, Rob Kantner, Robert McClure and Michael Connelly. "Free Radicals," Alice Munro's unexpected riff on a classic Agatha Christie story, tops the literary side, which provides a good deal more variety: Tom Bissell's portrait of a modern superhero ("My Interview with the Avenger"); Ron Carlson's tale of a Guatemalan baseball phenom whose fate is fatally linked to his scout's ("Beanball"); M.M.M. Hayes's depiction of a crusty old gentleman's unusual strategies for coping with change and death ("Meantime, Quentin Ghlee"); Randy Rohn's droll, creepy account of "The Man Who Fell in Love with the Stump of a Tree"; Jonathan Tel's story about a trucker whose life is upended by an accusation of rape and murder ("Bola de la Fortuna"); and series favorite Joyce Carol Oates' "Dear Husband," the feverish confession of a dying family-killer. N.J. Ayres, Alafair Burke, David Corbett, Nic Pizzolatto, Gary Craig Powell and Vu Tran round out the diverse list. A choice mix of solid work from mystery specialists and one-shots from authors who'd neverwant to be identified with the genre.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547237503
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/8/2009
  • Series: Best American Mystery Stories Series
  • Pages: 381
  • Sales rank: 1,266,074
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffery  Deaver

OTTO PENZLER is a renowned mystery editor, publisher, columnist, and owner of New York's The Mysterious Bookshop, the oldest and largest bookstores solely dedicated to mystery fiction. He has edited more than fifty crime-fiction anthologies.

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    1. Also Known As:
      William Jefferies, Jeffery Wilds Deaver
    2. Hometown:
      Washington, D.C.
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 6, 1950
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Missouri; Juris Doctor, cum laude, Fordham University School of Law
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2010

    this is not your mothers mystery book

    i was looking for a good mystery book, you know a puzzle to solve with a dectective but what this mistitled book is about is not that. this is a collection of short stories none of which should be called mysteries. rather these are individual stories many about weirdos and their individual problems. this is probably the most disappointing book i have bought as a mystery.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2010

    Interestng mix of stories

    While I found it difficult to wade through a couple of the stories in this collection, overall, I found it an enjoyable read. It is especially pleasant to see shorter pieces from some of my favorite authors. Usually, a reader of lengthy novels, I found this collection refreshing, but had to remind myself that the genre is different, as I yearned for more development and connection with characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted January 3, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2010

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