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The twenty-one stories in this anthology are classic New York.
Imagine bargain shopping in Chinatown, working in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, belly dancing in a Turkish nightclub, or teaching a course at a diverse New York College. These are ...
The twenty-one stories in this anthology are classic New York.
Imagine bargain shopping in Chinatown, working in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, belly dancing in a Turkish nightclub, or teaching a course at a diverse New York College. These are some of the circumstances and locations that find murder and mayhem around every corner in Murder New York Style.
Several stories are set in the New York of days gone by. Among those,
one takes place during a 1913 labor strike, and another explores the effects of the House Un-American Activities Committee on the New York cultural community. One Brooklyn story solves a mystery involving an eighty year old murder and the ghost of a Hessian soldier from the Revolutionary War.
The Stories and Authors are: Pick up Dry Cleaning, Commit the Perfect Murder by Cynthia Baxter, Name Tagging by Randy Kandel, Mister Right by Ronnie Klaskin, Death Will Clean Your Closet by Elizabeth Zelvin, La Bruha del Barrio by R.M. Peluso, I Love Alana by Marianna Heusler, The Knock-off by Chelle Martin, Strike Zone by Terri Farley Moran, A Voice to Remember by Margaret Mendel, Out in the Cold by Meredith Cole, NYPDaughter by Triss Stein, The House on Lake Place by Dorothy Mortman, Murder in the Aladdin¿s Cave by Lina Zeldovich, The Lie by Anita Page, A Day at a Time by Fran Brannigan Cox, Family Matters by Peggy Ehrhart, None of the Above by Deirdre Verne, What About Henry? by Pearl Wolf, Friendly Witness by Erica Harth, Casino Gamble by Nan Higginson, and Murder in the Mill by M.E. Kemp."
It was a wet September Wednesday when Gatewill Murpill turned up his coat collar, tightened his back muscles against the East River wind, and pondered why his parents had ever left Jamaica to "better themselves," as they called it. He held a wet Starbucks paper cup under his umbrella and grimaced at the over-roasted, over-sugared, chocolate-dosed coffee. He was longing for the sweet aroma of the fresh picked Jamaican mountain beans, although his family had been too poor to taste them then. He shook his head, remembering, but only briefly and carefully, so that the coffee wouldn't splash as he jogged up the front steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, two at a time.
Now that he was the chief of security for the Met, he was meticulous in his pacing--brisk enough to look assertive and eager, but not so fast that he seemed to be late, or chasing after a crisis. With so much wealth and financial value "trapped," as he called it, under electronically secured, video-monitored, thick glass, nothing ought to disturb the atmosphere of material and intellectual security, especially on the eve of a major international exhibition like "Name Tagging: Ownership of Art Among the Classic Maya."
Stepping out of the private elevator onto the fourth floor of the Michael C. Rockefeller wing of the museum and walking toward the exhibit, Murpill flipped open his Blackberry and noticed that the time was 8:47 a.m. "The security is perfect," he intended to tell Dr. Sarah Gregg, director of the MesoAmerican and Caribbean Department. Suddenly, a muted thud and then the crackle and crash of old pottery echoed in the corridor.
"Someone needs caffeine," Murpill thought and tossed hisStarbucks cup into a nearby wastebasket in order to look ready for anyone coming out of the makeshift lounge and lunchroom that the curators laughingly called Las Ruinas. Instead, the three curators of the department--Gregg, Dr. Golden Silver, and even chunky Dr. Winniker Grass--emerged from an office in the other direction, shaking their heads with worried faces. Using proper protocol, Murpill greeted the director.
Gregg answered softly, "We're just checking on things. All the plates and cups in Las Ruinas are paper. They're stamped with pictures of the Met's mascot, William, the turquoise hippopotamus. Every piece of pottery and ceramic on this floor, along with the gold and silver jewelry, is at least fourteen hundred years old and belongs to the Name Tagging exhibit. We're afraid that an artifact must have shattered." Sarah, with her sensible shoes, straight skirt, straight sweater, and straight hair, blushed as though Murpill had caught her with just a wet bath towel on. "You see, only the curators use Las Ruinas and we have no ordinary pottery in Las Ruinas or on this floor. One of the curators must have been playing dangerously with an artifact."
Murpill thought that he would have used the word "expensively," rather than "dangerously." Even so, he shuddered for a moment before remembering that part of his job in emergencies was to stay calm and help others stay calm. He threw his right arm over the shoulder of round-faced, nearsighted Dr. Winniker Grass, the ceramics specialist, who was keening, "Every piece, every piece invaluable. Every piece a baby Rosetta Stone," as though he were a grieving mother.
"We know, Winniker," said the metals specialist, Dr. Golden Silver, who looked like his name, tan, muscular, and turning silver in his fifties. Silver turned to Murpill, continuing his lecture. "All the pieces here are covered with glyphs, many not yet understood. Each is a clue to deciphering the Maya writing system. Even if gold doesn't break, I can understand professional loss. Grave robbers take gold and silver ahead of potsherds, stealing names and dates of artists and owners. Intellectual value, Winniker. Not the kind you get at Tiffany's. Right, Chief?"
Murpill nodded and swallowed his ironic thoughts about the value of dead men's words. He registered the bickering among the curators--and the fact that Dr. Sarah Gregg had seen him registering the bickering and had blushed as if she had no towel on at all. Still, Gregg took the lead as they approached Las Ruinas, and she barged through the partially open door.
Murpill followed her and heard her gasp, "Oh God!" when she saw Dr. Marvin Schwartz, the Maya exhibit consulting director lying, probably lifeless, on the marble tiled floor.
Posted December 4, 2007
A fun collection of New York stories for the mystery fan in all of us! I especially enjoyed 'Name Tagging' by Randy Kandel featuring the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a couple of self centered archeologists. Each story is a quick escape into the neighborhoods and colorful characters that make up the most intriguing city in the world.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.