The Best American Mystery Stories 2011: The Best American Seriesby Harlan Coben, Otto Penzler
First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the
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The Best American Series®
First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected—and most popular—of its kind.
The Best American Mystery Stories 2011 includes
Lawrence Block, Brendan DuBois, Loren D. Estleman,
Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin, Ed Gorman, Richard Lange, S. J. Rozan,
Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, and others
"Ranging from homespun to lush and tropical, this year’s crop of 20 stories offers a variety of tastes and textures.
But exotic doesn’t always mean compelling. Charles McCarry’s "The End of the String," set in Africa, lumbers like an elephant toward a conclusion as momentous as a mouse. "Diamond Alley," Dennis McFadden’s quiet tale of small-town teens confronting the murder of a popular classmate, packs a far greater punch. Family stories are equally powerful. In Christopher Merkner’s chilling "Last Cottage," a young couple tries to outlast a neighbor determined to oust them from their waterfront home. Across cultures, mothers protect. In Richard Lange’s "Baby Killer," Blanca struggles with an acting-out granddaughter. And although embarrassed by her profession, a Chinese mother helps her detective daughter in S.J. Rozan’s "Chin Yong-Yun Takes a Case." An absentee father’s return challenges a wife who’s moved on in Joe R. Lansdale’s "The Stars Are Falling." But Chris F. Holm shows in "The Hitter" that sometimes the greatest threat is to the dads themselves. Families don’t always grow through birth or marriage, as Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin reveal in "What His Hands Had Been Waiting For." And of course, some families are just plain toxic, as Lawrence Block’s "Clean Slate" and Loren D. Estleman’s "Sometimes a Hyena" aptly demonstrate. But nasty behavior isn’t just a family affair. Eric Barnes shows teenagers wreaking havoc for no particular reason in his slow-moving "Something Pretty, Something Beautiful." And in "A Long Time Dead," Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins show that evil can turn up where it’s least expected.
It has its highs and lows, but the best of Coben’s Best is really first-rate."
Meet the Author
Harlan Coben's last three consecutive novels Caught, Long Lost, and Hold Tight all debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and lists around the world. He is a winner of the Edgar Award, the Shamus Award, and the Anthony Award.
OTTO PENZLER is a renowned mystery editor, publisher, columnist, and owner of New York's The Mysterious Bookshop, the oldest and largest bookstore solely dedicated to mystery fiction. He has edited more than fifty crime-fiction anthologies.
- Ridgewood, New Jersey
- Date of Birth:
- January 4, 1962
- Place of Birth:
- Newark, New Jersey
- B.A. in political science, Amherst College, 1984
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I am a fan of both short stories and mysteries, so The Best American Mystery Stories 2011 was bound to pique my curiosity. This year's collection was edited by Harlan Coben, so I knew this would be a good set of stories. Surprisingly, I think my favorite story was The End of the String by Charles McCarry. This story involves an American in Ndala who becomes involved with a military man wishing to overthrow the president. This is not a topic I would normally seek out, but what a storyteller! I was completely drawn into the plot. I also enjoyed Destiny City by James Grady, which centers around a terrorist plot. I am not one to seek out terroristic or political crime stories, but I found that I enjoyed all of them in this collection. My second favorite story in this collection was The Hitter by Chris F. Holm. The Hitter is about a hit man who kills other hit men. This hit man contracts with potential victims to profit off the fact that he can save their lives by killing their would be assassins. Eventually, his chosen profession catches up to him. Flying Solo by Ed Gorman is about two elderly men who befriend one another while receiving chemo treatment, and together they become vigilantes, fighting injustices. Honorable mentions include Who Stole My Monkey? by David Corbett and Luis Alberto Urrea, A Crime of Opportunity by Ernest J. Finney and The Stars Are Falling by Joe R. Lansdale. I discovered many new authors through this collection, as well as an interest in subject matter that I would not normally seek out in my reading. Many thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with a copy to review, via NetGalley.
*smiles at her* So, what do you wanna do?
This is simply a collection of short stories that are all "journey" with no "destination." The writing is okay but again, I thought it was writing just for the sake of writing. If you are seeking mystery in the traditional sense then tis book is not for you.