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Posted December 9, 2008
MYSTERIOUS PRESS deserves to be sued by people like me for publishing this anthology, though it is superb reading. How dare the editors remind this reviewer that a quarter of a century has passed since I first read one of their novels. Like Steely Dan, ¿I guess I¿m just getting old¿. <P> The contributors are some of the best writers around today, who seem to really care about this anniversary collection more than usually seen in an anthology. The authors turn the celebration golden with their eighteen strong tales that run the genre¿s gamut. Each story is well written and fans of mystery will know that the tales hold up with the better anthologies regardless of genre. Here¿s to Mysterious Press for a wonderful short story collection, twenty-five great years of powerful books, and to reviewing their fiftieth year of excellent literature aggregation. <P>Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 4, 2001
The prophet Amos compares a calamitous time to a man who runs from a lion and is met by a bear, or goes into a house and leans a hand against the wall, and a snake bites him. Perhaps Joe R. Lansdale had this passage in mind when he wrote 'The Mule Rustlers,' a tragicomic tale about two petty thieves who steal an aging mule and get more than they bargained for. The end of this shocking story is improbable, but it gets my vote as the best short story in this collection. Other favorites in this anthology are: Ed McBain's 'Activity in the Flood Plain.' An artist wants to build a studio on the back of his newly purchased home but is thwarted by bureaucratic red tape. Then he discovers the real reason for the harassment. Archer Mayor's 'Instinct.' A prime suspect turns out to be innocent of a murder--at least so far. The last line reveals the protagonist's keen insight into human psychology: 'But I knew it was just a matter of time.' Margaret Maron's 'What's in a Name?' A story about a jilted lover--a con man whose spiteful scheme goes awry. A cursory knowledge of Shakespeare will help you 'see this one coming.' The other 14 entries, all written expressly for this collection, are: M.C. Beaton, Charlotte Carter, Jerome Charyn, James Crumley, Lindsey Davis, Loren D. Estleman, Joe Gores, Robert Greer, Stuart M. Kaminsky, Peter Lovesley, William Marshall, Marcia Muller, Beth Saulnier, and Donald E. Westlake. Several of the stories might be described by a line from Lindsey Davis's 'Body Zone': 'the struggle of true spectacle and real technical skill [trying] to defeat a banal vision and an ill-conceived narrative.' 'The Body Zone' is not one of the losers. In the Introduction, editors Sara Ann Freed and William Malloy look forward to continuing to publish 'the brightest of dark literature' over the next 25 years. Dark literature? Well, maybe. But several of the stories in this collection are light-hearted and humorous rather than sinister.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 14, 2012
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