Mystery Writers of America Presents Death Do Us Part: New Stories about Love, Lust, and Murder


This volume compiles 18 gripping stories about relationships from some of the top mystery writers working today, including Harlan Coben, P.J. Parrish, Lee Child, Ridley Pearson, R.L. Stine, Jim Fusilli, Jeff Abbott, Charles Todd, and Tom Savage.

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This volume compiles 18 gripping stories about relationships from some of the top mystery writers working today, including Harlan Coben, P.J. Parrish, Lee Child, Ridley Pearson, R.L. Stine, Jim Fusilli, Jeff Abbott, Charles Todd, and Tom Savage.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The latest anthology from the Mystery Writers of America offers a high quality assortment of stories propelled by human passions behind crimes both hot- and cold-blooded. Despite the participation of such noted authors as Coben, Charles Todd, Laura Lippman and R.L. Stine, the gems come from lesser knowns. The standout is Charles Ardai's "The Home Front," a noir tale that Cornell Woolrich fans will relish, recounting the travails of a WWII-era federal agent whose role in the accidental death of a black marketer haunts him and leads to further disaster. Brendon DuBois's "The Last Flight," a taut tale of revenge, and Lee Child's "Safe Enough," about a dark secret uniting an upscale woman and her electrician, will also linger for many readers. Cozy and fair-play fans won't find much specifically aimed at them, but fans of quality short fiction should be satisfied. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal

These 18 original stories, edited by Edgar and Shamus Award winner Coben (Tell No One) and penned by some of today's greatest suspense writers-including Laura Lippman and Ridley Scott-focus on crimes of passion, violence, and revenge. Narrators Alan Sklar (The Looming Tower), Karen White (My Kind of Place), and John Lee (The Secret History of the World) are wonderfully matched to the material-especially Sklar (see Behind the Mike, LJ3/1/09), whose rumbling bass can be menacing or naïve, depending on the narrative atmosphere. Highly recommended for public libraries, especially those with lots of commuters among their patrons. [Audio clip available through]
—Barbara Valle

Library Journal
Nineteen members of the Mystery Writers of America contribute to this anthology on how love can go horribly wrong. R.L. Stines's "Wifey" is one of the most unusual stories, while other contributions by Lee Child, Ridley Pearson, Laura Lippman, and Harlan Coben reveal the subject's breadth when in the hands of good storytellers. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Despite reams of statistical evidence, marriage doesn't prolong men's lives-or women's either, according to 18 mostly new stories by members of the Mystery Writers of America. "I'm about to give away the ending," announces editor Coben (Promise Me, 2006, etc.) at the outset of his brief introduction. The sad truth: Despite a token handful of tales celebrating the power of love, most of these tales end badly for one or both spouses. Such a preordained outcome drastically limits the possibilities of surprise, and even the most successfully atmospheric of these stories-Ridley Pearson's husband desperate for news of his missing wife, Lee Child's naif who protects a rich wife from her abusive husband, Charles Ardai's WWII federal agent intent on consoling the woman he's accidentally widowed, Tom Savage's cyberdate from hell, Charles Todd's WWI wife waiting for news from the front, Jeff Abbott's estranged son dutifully helping his sick father end his life, Laura Lippman's call girl outed in her suburban private life by a blackmailing client, Jay Brandon's little-man suitor who's overwhelmed by marriage-depend more on ritual than novelty. Not that there's anything wrong with that, as supporters of marriage will attest. Others filling the unsurprising ranks include Brendan DuBois, William Kent Krueger, Jim Fusilli and R.L. Stine. The one spectacular shocker: Coben's own contribution, the one reprint here, in which a distraught wife can't convince anyone that the man calling herself her husband is an imposter.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316012638
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,474,866
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Mystery Writers of America Presents Death Do Us Part

New Stories about Love, Lust, and Murder
By Harlan Coben


Copyright © 2006 Mystery Writers of America, Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-01250-5


I'm about to give away the ending. Crimes involving money don't interest me all that much. Oh, sure, as a red herring, they're pretty cool and, hey, now that I'm talking about this, maybe I'll do it in my next story just to fool you. But between us, it's just not what I'm into.

I'm also not big on serial killers hacking people up for no reason. Or conspiracies reaching the White House. There are people who write them well. But they don't really grab your heart, do they?

You want something bigger, more complex, more driven. You want something that you can relate to. You want to read about the crime that you can almost ALMOST see yourself committing. You want the story to explore a place as small as your fist and as vast as the universe. You want the story to trek through a land you know so well and yet you'll never really understand.

In short, you want the story set in the human heart. You want it personal. You want it to be about you and that special someone who is lying beside you. You love your partner, don't you? The way she sleeps peacefully. The way she tosses and turns. You could stare at her all night. Or maybe ...?

Those are exactly the kinds of stories that have been assembled for your reading pleasure within the pages of this anthology. With the assistance of the Mystery Writers of America, nineteen of today's top mystery authors, from established bestselling pros to new writers, have provided a collection of masterful mystery and suspense stories that all delve into the pulsating heart of relationships most foul or, worse, most splendid. They will, I think, give new meaning to the ultimate expression of "till death do us part."

Lest you think that mystery writers are all cynical curmudgeons, there are also several stories in here that celebrate the power of a loving relationship as it pertains to crime and punishment (which is possible). But at least half of these stories end badly for one spouse or both. Come to think of it, according to statistics, that's about the percentage of marriages that end in real life, although usually by not so permanent means.

So give your spouse or special other a big kiss and a hug before settling down to read these stories of domestic discord and marital malice (if you're single, then you don't have anything to worry about, unless this introduction has made you think about keeping a closer eye on your significant other, but that's another anthology altogether) as we present all-new crimes of the heart in Death Do Us Part.

-Harlan Coben


Excerpted from Mystery Writers of America Presents Death Do Us Part by Harlan Coben Copyright © 2006 by Mystery Writers of America, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Queeny 3
Safe enough 12
The home front 27
The last flight 55
Part light, part memory 70
Blarney 83
Heat lightning 104
Till death do us part 115
The cold, hard truth 125
One shot 144 168
Home coming 184
The masseuse 197
A few small repairs 212
Chellini's solution 231
One true love 247
Wifey 268
Pushed or was fell 288
Entrapped 313
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