Transgressions, Volume 4

Overview

New York Times bestsellers Sharyn McCrumb, Joyce Carol Oates, and Anne Perry each provided a brand-new, never-before-published tale for this unique collection of stories edited by New York Times bestselling author and mystery legend Ed McBain.

"The Resurrection Man" by Sharyn McCrumb: During America's first century, doctors used any means necessary to advance their craft—including dissecting corpses. Sharyn McCrumb brings the South of the 1850s to life in this story of a man who is assigned to dig up bodies to ...

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Transgressions Vol. 4: The Resurrection Man/The Corn Maiden/Hostages

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Overview

New York Times bestsellers Sharyn McCrumb, Joyce Carol Oates, and Anne Perry each provided a brand-new, never-before-published tale for this unique collection of stories edited by New York Times bestselling author and mystery legend Ed McBain.

"The Resurrection Man" by Sharyn McCrumb: During America's first century, doctors used any means necessary to advance their craft—including dissecting corpses. Sharyn McCrumb brings the South of the 1850s to life in this story of a man who is assigned to dig up bodies to help those that are still alive.

"The Corn Maiden" by Joyce Carol Oates: When a twelve-year-old girl is abducted in a small New York town, the crime starts a spiral of destruction and despair as only this master of psychological suspense could write it.

"Hostages" by Anne Perry: The bestselling historical mystery author has written a tale of beautiful yet still savage Ireland today. In their eternal struggle for freedom, there is about to be a changing of the guard in the Irish Republican Army. Yet for some, old habits—and honor—still die hard, even at gunpoint.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Veteran crime writer Ed McBain has done a bang-up job selecting the contents of Transgressions, an anthology of ten original novellas by some of the top names in the mystery/suspense field. McBain says, "Except for length and a loose adherence to crime, mystery or suspense, I placed no restrictions upon the writers who agreed to contribute." The results of that challenge are varied and outstanding, including Donald E. Westlake's Dortmunder caper, McBain's own dramatic 87th Precinct story, a chilling psychological suspense offering by Joyce Carol Oates, and Stephen King's short and anything-but-sweet post-9/11 tale. By the time you add powerful stories by Lawrence Block, Jeffery Deaver, John Farris, Sharyn McCrumb, Walter Mosley, and Anne Perry, you've got a volume that any self-respecting suspense fan would consider it a "transgression" to miss. Sue Stone
Chicago Sun-Times on "The Resurrection Man"
Beautifully written . . . Probably the best of the bunch.
Entertainment Weekly on "The Corn Maiden"
A blistering account of mean girl kidnappers.
Mystery Scene on "The Resurrection Man"
A fine piece of historical fiction with a disctinctively Southern perspective.
New York Times Magazine
Stocked with startling twists and deadly turns.
Rocky Mountain News on "Hostages"
A fine example of Perry's talent for creating strong female protagonists.
From the Publisher
"Stocked with startling twists and deadly turns."—New York Times Magazine on Transgressions

"A superb opportunity for readers of mystery, crime, and suspense fiction."—Library Journal (starred review) on Transgressions

"A fine piece of historical fiction with a disctinctively Southern perspective."—Mystery Scene on "The Resurrection Man"

"Beautifully written . . . Probably the best of the bunch."—Chicago Sun-Times on "The Resurrection Man"

"A disturbing portrait of a monstrous 12-year-old girl, a spooky distaff echo of Leopold and Loeb."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on "The Corn Maiden"

"A blistering account of mean girl kidnappers."—Entertainment Weekly on "The Corn Maiden"

"A touching portrait of a woman caught up in the current Irish troubles."—Publishers Weekley (starred review) on "Hostages"

"A fine example of Perry's talent for creating strong female protagonists."—Rocky Mountain News on "Hostages"

Publishers Weekleyon "Hostages"
A touching portrait of a woman caught up in the current Irish troubles.
Publishers Weekley (starred review) on "Hostages"
A touching portrait of a woman caught up in the current Irish troubles.
Library Journal
Transgressions are not normally viewed as opportunities, but this eponymous collection of novellas by Stephen King, Lawrence Block, Walter Mosley, Anne Perry, and more offer a superb opportunity for readers of mystery, crime, and suspense fiction. Compiled by perennial best-selling author McBain, these ten tales, three to four times longer than a typical short story, provide just enough vital depth to entrap readers, as well as the requisite brevity to fit them into one collection. From the disaffected teenager in Joyce Carol Oates's "The Corn Maiden" to the haunted 9/11 survivor in King's "The Things They Left Behind" to the reluctant grave robber in Sharyn McCrumb's "The Resurrection Man," this assortment of stories and characters does not disappoint. Although the ten novellas analyze a variety of topics and situations, they all exhibit the level of quality expected from such a stellar collection of writing talent. Highly recommended for all fiction collections.-Ken Bolton, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
What's a novella? McBain says, 10,000 to 40,000 words-and adds, "It ain't easy." Still, a marquee list takes a shot at it here, including the editor himself. The range is wide, the success rate high, and the degree of pleasure on offer remarkable. John Farris's engrossing "The Ransom Women," in which a tough cop, a lovely girl and a famous painter collaborate in a lethal Faustian bargain, may be the best, though Sharyn McCrumb's grim, heart-rending, beautifully modulated "The Resurrection Man" is close behind. McCrumb's improbable hero, a gravedigger, finds redemption through suffering, courage and Ghandi-like adherence to principle. McBain in "Merely Hate" and Donald E. Westlake in "Walking Around Money" add worthwhile installments to long-running sagas: Steve Carella and his 87th Precinct buds have what may be a series of hate crimes on their hands, while Dortmunder, pricklier than usual, has thieves falling out on his. "The Corn Maiden" is Joyce Carol Oates's disturbing portrait of a monstrous 12-year-old girl, a spooky distaff echo of Leopold and Loeb. Stephen King tells the chilling, though strangely moving, tale of a 9/11 survivor to whom survival becomes a burden. Lawrence Block's deft, cheeky "Keller's Adjustment" is 9/11-themed, too, after a fashion, in its focus on a lonely hit man's career change in the wrenching aftermath. Anne Perry's "Hostages" revisits the Troubles in Northern Ireland a bit melodramatically, and Jeffery Deaver's take on cloning in "Forever" is a bit dull. But Walter Mosley's "Archibald Lawless, Anarchist at Large" is the only real disappointment here: such great prose, so little story. McBain himself doesn't quite make the point, but the best of theseperformances do: The novella, once called the novelette, may be the ideal form for most crime fiction, if only there were a market for it. $200,000 ad/promo budget
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765354198
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 10/31/2006
  • Series: Transgressions Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: 3 Stories in 1
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 645,930
  • Product dimensions: 4.08 (w) x 6.73 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharyn McCrumb is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels depicting life in Appalachia. Her latest novel is St. Dale.

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. Her bestselling novels include We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde. Her latest novel is Missing Mom.

Anne Perry is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous historical fiction novels. Her latest novel is Dark Assassin.

Ed McBain was also known as Evan Hunter. His writing career has spanned almost five decades, from his first novel, The Blackboard Jungle, in 1954 to the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds to Candyland, written in tandem with his alter ego, Ed McBain, to his most recent novel, The Moment She Was Gone. He is the first American ever to receive the Diamond Dagger, the British Crime Writers Association's highest award. He also holds the Mystery Writers of America's prestigious Grand Master Award. His last 87th Precinct novel was Fiddlers. Evan Hunter / Ed McBain passed away in Fall 2005.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 7
Walking around money 11
Hostages 75
The corn maiden : a love story 131
Archibald Lawless, anarchist at large : walking the line 223
The resurrection man 311
Merely hate 375
The things they left behind 451
The ransome women 481
Forever 603
Keller's adjustment 725
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Interviews & Essays

Ransom Notes Interview with Ed McBainRansom Notes: How did you decide which authors (and how many) to invite to participate? Ed McBain: I knew from the start it would be ten. Ten best, right? Besides, the length of each individual entry dictated that there not be more than ten or the book would become too bulky and in fact somewhat forbidding. Choosing the writers was the easy part: I just made a list of writers I love to read. And (fingers crossed) I began asking them to contribute.RN: Who was the first author you invited? EM: Many moons ago, at different stages of our careers, Don Westlake, Larry Block, and I each worked as "editors" at the Scott Meredith Literary Agency. During our separate apprenticeships there, we learned how to write (for pay) short stories, novels and -- yes -- novellas. I knew that both Larry and Don were familiar with the form, and I knew that if they promised to deliver, they would. They were the first people I contacted. Happily, they each had an idea and the time to write it for me.RN: Who did you think was least likely to participate? EM: Both Sharyn McCrumb and Anne Perry, whose work I love but whom I had never met. Actually, these two stories were obviously something each author had been wanting to write for a long time, and -- luckily -- I just happened to be strolling by.RN: Which story was the first one finished? EM: Don Westlake was the first to deliver his story -- a good omen in that it was a total delight and a harbinger of what was to come.RN: What was the biggest challenge as you shifted roles from contributor to editor of Transgressions?EM: Daring to tell writers of such stature how I felt a scene or a paragraph or even a line could be made better. But these are all professionals. Timidly, I approached. Reassuringly, they said, "Ahh, yes, Done." RN: What prompted you to make your own entry an 87th Precinct story? EM: A novella is always challenging -- which is why I guess most writers stay away from them. But the very form of the 87th Precinct novels (successive interviews with suspects or witnesses with explosive points of action) actually made writing a novella easier. In fact, by plotting as if I were about to write a novel, I found myself with an overabundance of scenes from which to choose. RN: Which story would you say is closest to a traditional mystery? EM: I'd say my own story is closest to the traditional form. After that, either Jeffery's or Don's. Three of the most offbeat novellas in the collection are by the women writers I asked to join me.
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