The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories

( 3 )

Overview

More than 200,000 words of great crime and suspense fiction

Each year, Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg, editors of The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories, have reached farther past the boundaries of the United States to find the very best suspense from the world over. In this third volume of their series they have included stories from Germany, Belgium, and the United Kingdom as well as, of course, a number of fine stories from the U.S.A. Among these tales are winners of...

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The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories: 3: Third Annual Collection

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Overview

More than 200,000 words of great crime and suspense fiction

Each year, Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg, editors of The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories, have reached farther past the boundaries of the United States to find the very best suspense from the world over. In this third volume of their series they have included stories from Germany, Belgium, and the United Kingdom as well as, of course, a number of fine stories from the U.S.A. Among these tales are winners of the Edgar Award, the Silver Dagger Award of the British Crime Writers, and other major awards in the field.

In addition, here are reports on the field of mystery and crime writing from correspondents in the U.S. (Jon L. Breen), England (Maxim Jakubowski), Canada (Edo Van Belkom), Australia (David Honeybone), and Germany (Thomas Woertche).

Altogether, with nearly 250,000 words of the best short suspense published in 2001, this bounteous volume is, as the Wall Street Journal said of the previous year’s compilation, “the best value-for-money of any such anthology.”

The A-to-Z of the authors should excite the interest of any mystery reader:
Robert Barnard • Lawrence Block • Jon L. Breen • Wolfgang Burger • Lillian Stewart Carl • Margaret Coel • Max Allan Collins • Bill Crider • Jeffery Deaver • Brendan DuBois • Susanna Gregory • Joseph Hansen • Carolyn G. Hart • Lauren Henderson • Edward D. Hoch • Clark Howard • Tatjana Kruse • Paul Lascaux • Dick Lochte • Peter Lovesey • Mary Jane Maffini • Ed McBain • Val McDermid • Marcia Muller • Joyce Carol Oates • Anne Perry • Nancy Pickard • Bill Pronzini • Ruth Rendell • S. J. Rozan • Billie Rubin • Kristine Kathryn Rusch • Stephan Rykena • David B. Silva • Nancy Springer • Jac. Toes • John Vermeulen • Donald E. Westlake • Carolyn Wheat.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Something for every mystery taste. An excellent value for the money.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Praise for The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories: Second Annual Collection:
“The first 50 pages of this giant volume are packed with valuable and fascinating material—and you haven’t even gotten to the stories yet. . . . As for the stories, they literally provide something for every mystery taste.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Veteran anthologists Gorman and Greenberg have pulled out all the stops in an ambitious attempt to produce the definitive yearbook of the short mystery. . . . Indeed the biggest mystery is how a single year could have produced a bumper crop of so many outstanding tales.”—Kirkus Reviews

Internet Book Watch
Just a few years ago, if anyone asked me if I enjoyed short stories, I would have responded with show me the character's depth or where's the plot. However, an E-mail cyber pal asked me if I read everything about a detective I had said was one of my favorites. My knee jerk response was yes, but that was not true because the character had appeared in a few anthologies. I decided to try an Ed Gorman edited anthology that included the sleuth and am now hooked for life. I can leisurely enjoy reading superb stories a few tales a night instead of my usual obsession to complete a novel (or two) in one sitting. I also meet new authors and characters in typically twenty to thirty pages, which sends me hustling to find other works by them. Mr. Gorman is much more than just an editor-writer. He is one of the grandmasters of putting together the right combination of stories into a collection that hook fans to want more works from his contributors. His latest effort The World's Finest Mystery And Crime Stories is as usual an excellent book that reads like an honor roll of the genre with such international notables as Block, McBain, Rankin, Hoch, and Oates, etc. There are forty entries varying in quality, but none are poor as Mr. Gorman always keeps the level of performance at the highest bars. The stories have an international flavor, varying in time and place. Jon L. Breen also provides an interesting perspective into what occurred to the genre in 1999. This collection is a winner by merit of the strong contributions.
—Internet Book Watch
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765302359
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 9/15/2002
  • Series: World's Finest Mystery & Crime Series , #3
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 640
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg have edited a number of anthologies, singly and together. Gorman is a Shamus Award winner for his own hard-boiled suspense; Greenberg has been behind numerous successful books, mystery and suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. Ed Gorman lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Martin H. Greenberg lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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Read an Excerpt

The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories: 3

The Year in Mystery and Crime Fiction: 2001
Jon L. Breen
 

 

 

It has never been so difficult to assign a handy label to the year in mystery fiction. Of course, the specter of September 11 hangs over every attempt to sum up the year. The mystery world reacted to that cataclysm much as did everyone else, with anger, reflection, reassessment, determination, and symbolic acts of community. Despite fears of flying and the possibility of further terrorist attack, Washington, D.C., hosted the Bouchercon as scheduled. What lasting effects, if any, the terrorist acts will have on the narrow world of fictional crime remains to be seen.
You could call 2001 the Year of Change, but we're embarked on a century of change in literary delivery systems. Time will tell what the ultimate effect of the electronic revolution will be on book publishing. On the plus side, new technologies give writers, both established and neophyte, new ways to reach their audience. On the downside, writers and other artists must ponder how intellectual property can be protected in a time of rapid change in modes of delivery.
The New York publishing mainstream continued to show more interest in the blockbuster and less in the standard bread-and-butter mystery novel. As a partial result, a number of writers whose names are familiar from major publishing lists had new novels published through smaller specialist or regional publishers, among them Taffy Cannon, Shelley Singer, Jeremiah Healy, Les Roberts, Ralph Mclnerny, and Michael Bowen.
Vanity (or more politely, subsidy) publishing used to be a sucker play, but with the relatively inexpensive dissemination of e-books and books-on-demand, writers of genuine talent who are frustrated by the difficulty of breaking into mainstream markets are able to go that route much more economically In 2000, I reviewed an author-financed on-demand novel for the first time, Daniel Ferry's Death on Delivery (iUniverse), and found it a thoroughly professional job that would not have been out of place on an established publisher's list. In 2001 came Thomas B. Sawyer's The Sixteenth Man (iUniverse), a novel by a successful television writer that undoubtedly would have found a receptive market in traditional publishing channels if the author had chosen to offer it.
This new flood of inexpensively self-driven publications has the same drawback that can be applied to most of the Internet: the lack of editorial intervention. Good newer writers who could use the help of a strong editor aren't getting it. (You could say that best-selling writers with big-moneymultibook contracts aren't getting it either--who would deign to edit a six-hundred-pound gorilla?--but that is a problem for another day.)
Change being a constant, now more than ever, I'll call 2001 the Year of the Group Novel. The tradition of multiauthor mysteries goes back to the Detection Club's The Floating Admiral (1931), and there have been several examples since, but never, I think, three in one year as in 2001: Yeats Is Dead (Knopf), edited by Joseph O'Connor, an Elmore Leonard-style crime comedy by a group of Irish writers, mostly non-genre specialists; Naked Came the Phoenix (St. Martin's Minotaur), edited by Marcia Talley, told in turn by a group of prominent female mystery writers; and Natural Suspect (Ballantine), devised by William Bernhardt, the comic serial novel of several legal thriller specialists. All the books benefited charity (Amnesty International, breast cancer research, and the Nature Conservancy, respectively); all make entertaining reading, though none is as ultimately satisfactory as a good novel by a single hand.

BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR 2001
The following fifteen were the most impressive of the crime novels I read and reviewed in 2001. The standard disclaimer applies: I don't claim to cover the whole field, but I challenge anyone to name fifteen better.
J. G. Ballard, Super-Cannes (Picador USA). Science-fiction great Ballard provides a genuine detective story as well as an incisive view of dark societal trends in the tale of a sinister state-of-the-art industrial park on the French Riviera. (The late Stanley Kubrick might have made a great movie out of it.)
William Bernhardt, Murder One (Ballantine). For legal fiction buffs, the series about Oklahoma lawyer Ben Kincaid is one of the best extant, encompassing humor, extended courtroom action, and ingenious plotting.
Lawrence Block, Hope to Die (Morrow). Manhattan private eye Matt Scudder's latest adventure will please equally those who admire traditional detection, fiction noir, and good English prose.
Ken Bruen, The McDead (Do-Not/Dufour). Another of the author's satirical, minimalist London police novels. Not for every taste, but for me one of the strongest arguments for Brit Noir.
Michael Connelly, A Darkness More Than Night (Little, Brown). Two Connelly characters, L.A. cop Harry Bosch and heart-transplant-recipient and former FBI agent Terry McCaleb (of Blood Work [1998]) join forces in a typically complex and enthralling procedural.
David Cray, Bad Lawyer (Carroll & Graf/Penzler). A fine specimen of the Big Trial novel from an ostensibly well-known author using a pseudonym. (You might not want to read the jacket copy.)
Val Davis, The Return of the Spanish Lady (St. Martin's Minotaur). The best yet in the Nicolette Scott series combines a present-day expedition torecover a World War II Japanese fighter plane with a 1918 reporter's pursuit of a dangerous story. (You must not read the jacket copy!)
John Dunning, Two O'Clock Eastern Wartime (Scribner). Too long? Yes. Crazy plot? Sure. But I couldn't leave off my list this evocative World War II-era tale, which offers the second or third best use of a radio background in crime fiction.
Evan Hunter and Ed McBain, Candyland (Simon & Schuster). The collaboration of a "straight" novelist with his mystery-writing alter ego is a stunt, to be sure, but a successful one.
Val McDermid, Killing the Shadows (St. Martin's Minotaur). Who could resist a novel about a serial killer of authors of serial-killer novels? In an exploration of criminal and creative psychology, McDermid even gives samples of each victim's prose.
Joyce Carol Oates (writing as Rosamond Smith), The Barrens (Carroll & Graf/Penzler). In a splendid example of dark suspense, Oates provides a chilling exploration of criminal psychology--and the noncriminal characters are pretty twisted, too.
Sara Paretsky, Total Recall (Delacorte). Recovered memory therapy and recollections of the kindertransport figure in one of the best novels featuring Chicago private eye V I. Warshawski.
Peter Robinson, Aftermath (Morrow). As the title suggests, most of the action of the latest Alan Banks novel occurs after a particularly grisly serial killer has been captured.
Steven Saylor, Last Seen in Massilia (St. Martin's Minotaur). Some series sleuths never let you down, and the ancient Roman Gordianus the Finder is in that number.
Laura Wilson, Dying Voices (Bantam). In a second novel, about a young woman trying to solve the delayed-action murder of her long-gone mother, Wilson reasserts her position as a major new talent.

SUBGENRES
Private eyes. Apart from the characters of Block and Paretsky (see the list of fifteen), there were good cases for Parnell Hall's soft-boiled Stanley Hastings in Cozy (Carroll & Graf/Penzler); Ed Gorman's 1950s midwesterner Sam McCain in Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (Carroll & Graf); and Gary Phillips's Las Vegas sleuth Martha Chainey (not technically a PI but she acts like one) in Shooter's Point (Kensington). The Comeback of the Year Award goes to mid-twentieth-century shamus Jack LeVine, who returns after a quarter-century absence in Andrew Bergman's Tender Is Le Vine (St. Martin's Minotaur). Returning after a shorter hiatus of seven years was R. D. Rosen's baseball player turned private eye Harvey Blissberg in Dead Ball (Walker).
Lawyers. Another famous advocate entered the fiction fray with goodresults: in collaboration with Walt Becker, Robert Shapiro wrote Misconception (Morrow), featuring some intriguing issues related to the abortion debate. Series lawyers in solid form included Linda Fairstein's Manhattan prosecutor Alex Cooper in The Deadhouse (Scribner); Joe L. Hensley's midwestern Don Robak in Robak in Black (St. Martins Minotaur); Jonnie Jacobs's Kali O' Brien in Witness for the Defense (Kensington); and Sheldon Siegel's Mike Daley in Incriminating Evidence (Bantam).
Police. Besides being a sound procedural, Jill McGown's Scene of Crime (Ballantine), about the male/female team of Hill and Lloyd, provides as solid an example of classical puzzle plotting as I encountered during the year. H. R. F Keating's Inspector Ghote, who now has enjoyed one of the longest careers among series police, returned in Breaking and Entering (St. Martin's Minotaur). Other cops in notable action included Paula L. Woods's Charlotte Justice in Stormy Weather (Norton); Ian Rankin's John Rebus in The Falls (St. Martin's Minotaur); Bill Crider's Sheriff Dan Rhodes in A Romantic Way to Die (St. Martin's Minotaur); Jan Burke's Frank Harriman (with wife Irene Kelly in a supporting role) in Flight (Simon & Schuster); and P. D. James's Adam Dalgliesh in Death in Holy Orders (Knopf).
Historicals. Anna Gilbert's A Morning in Eden (St. Martin's Minotaur) is a charmingly written piece of post-World War I romantic suspense from one of the genre's overlooked masters. Max Allan Collins's The Pearl Harbor Murders (Berkley) made an amateur sleuth of Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs. Collins's period PI Nate Heller has a look at the Black Dahlia case in the typically well-researched Angel in Black (New American Library). Anne Perry turns her attention to the French Revolution era in the novella A Dish Taken Cold (Carroll & Graf/Penzler). Historical series sleuths in good form included Perry's Thomas Pitt in The Whitechapel Conspiracy (Ballantine); Peter Tremayne's seventh-century Irish Sister Fidelma in Act of Mercy (St. Martin's Minotaur); Laura Joh Rowland's seventeenth-century samurai Sano Ichiro in Black Lotus (St. Martin's Minotaur); Robin Paige's Victorian Lord Charles Sheridan in Death at Epsom Downs (Berkley); and Lindsey Davis's ancient Roman Marcus Didius Falco in Ode to a Banker (Mysterious).
Humor and satire. Wisconsin lawyer Michael Bowen departs from his formal detective novels to skewer Hollywood in Screenscam (Poisoned Pen). Straddling humor and history was Ron Goulart's Groucho Marx and the Broadway Murders (St. Martin's Minotaur).
Thrillers. The pure thriller is not my usual cup of tea, but conspiring to change my mind were Tess Gerritsen's The Surgeon (Ballantine) and Gayle Lynds's Mesmerized (Pocket). Also impressive was television writer Thomas B. Sawyer's already mentioned The Sixteenth Man (iUniverse).
Psychological suspense. Guy Burt's The Hole (Ballantine), a brief and effective novel of a group of students imprisoned by a prankster, was first published in Britain in 1993 and written when the author was a mere eighteen.DeLoris Stanton Forbes's One Man Died on Base (Five Star) follows the game-time thoughts of an aging baseball slugger in a psychological study that is less whodunit or whydunit than whathappened.

SHORT STORIES
As the volume in your hand tells you, the mystery short story is alive and well. In the United States, the two venerable digests Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine continue to be the top periodical markets, joined by the slick but infrequent Mary Higgins Clark's Mystery Magazine and a variety of on-line and semipro publications.
In Great Britain, a single journal (Crimewave) published both the shortstory Dagger winner and two of the other four nominees. Editor Andy Cox's ambitions are modest: "Crimewave's mission is nothing less than the total re-creation of crime fiction. We don't do cosy, we don't do hardboiled, we don't do noir ... what we do is something entirely different to whatever you've read before. People who have never read crime are about to discover a new universe of fiction in which morality is real but fluid, in which story is central but skewed, in which the traditions of the genre are neither dumped nor subverted, but rather viewed through fresh eyes from a new hill. Meanwhile, lifelong crime fans will be reminded why they turned to crime in the first place: for solidly-made, honest-to-life stories that are only the starting point for a new fiction in which writers make a contract with the reader to provide real plots with real conclusions, not mere vignettes--but who then exploit loopholes and sub-clauses to turn your expectations inside out. Self-indulgent arty-fartiness is out, and so is lazy conservatism; craftsmanship is in, as the only platform strong enough to launch illimitable imagination. In short, Crimewave is a celebration of what crime fiction can be, when it stops apologizing for itself, censoring itself, limiting itself, feeling sorry for itself. Our writers are in love with crime fiction's history, and fiercely proud of its future. Crimewave is published twice a year in an attractive, creatively designed book format, with color matte laminated covers." (Single copies $12; four-issue subscription $40; www.ttapress.com.)
Turning to books, a single separately published short, Mark Twain's 1876 story A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage (Norton), in book form for the first time, was one of the major scholarly events of the year. Also for the permanent library was The Selected Stories of Patricia Highsmith (Norton), an omnibus containing five Highsmith collections: The Animal-Lover's Book of Beastly Murder, Little Tales of Misogyny, Slowly, Slowly in the Wind, The Black House, and Mermaids on the Golf Course.
Thanks mainly to specialist publishers but with some help from the majors, single-author collections continued to come forth at an unprecedentedrate. Among the best of the year from Crippen & Landru were Joe Gores's Stakeout on Page Street and Other DKA Files; Ross Macdonald's Strangers in Town: Three Newly Discovered Stories, edited by Tom Nolan; and Edward D. Hoch's The Old Spies Club and Other Intrigues of Rand. Highlights from Five Star included Edward Wellen's Perps, Ed Gorman's Such a Good Girl and Other Crime Stories, and John Lutz's The Nudger Dilemmas. From elsewhere came Frederic Forsyth's The Veteran (St. Martin's) and Ruth Rendell's Piranha to Scurfy and Other Stories (Crown). Numerical champ was Max Allan Collins, who had one collection from Crippen & Landru (Kisses of Death: A Nathan Heller Casebook) and two from Five Star (Blue Christmas and Other Holiday Homicides and Murder--His and Hers, the latter in collaboration with wife Barbara Collins).
Anthologists of original stories are not running out of fresh ideas. Among the year's themes were baseball (Otto Penzler's Murderers' Row [New Millennium]); erotic noir (Max Allan Collins and Jeff Gelb's Flesh and Blood [Mysterious]); summertime (Joseph Pittman and Annette Riffle's And the Dying Is Easy [Signet]); the American South (Sarah Shankman's A Confederacy of Crime [Signet]); the female bar (Carolyn Wheat's Women Before the Bench [Berkley]); history (Mike Ashley's The Mammoth Book of More Historical Whodunnits [Carroll & Graf]); romance (Martin H. Greenberg and Denise Little's Murder Most Romantic [Cumberland] and Carolyn Hart's Love and Death [Berkley]); the Irish (Greenberg's Murder Most Celtic [Cumberland]); astrology (Anne Perry's Murder by Horoscope [Carroll & Graf]); Sherlock Holmes pastiche (Greenberg, Jon Lellenberg, and Daniel Stashower's Murder in Baker Street [Carroll & Graf]); Civil War espionage (Ed Gorman's The Blue and the Gray Undercover [Forge]); and cats in the courtroom (Gorman, Greenberg, and Larry Segriff's Murder Most Feline [Cumberland]).
Other original anthologies included two devoted to the hard-boiled shamus: the Private Eye Writers of America's Mystery Street (Signet), edited by Robert J. Randisi, and Fedora: Private Eyes and Tough Guys (Wildside), edited by Michael Bracken. A distinguished publishing imprint celebrated a quarter century's existence in The Mysterious Press Anniversary Anthology.
Among the notable reprint anthologies were no less than four from the staggeringly prolific (as editor as well as author) Lawrence Block. Speaking of Lust and Speaking of Greed (Cumberland House) launched an ambitious deadly-sins series in which the reprinted stories in each volume will be accompanied by a new Block novella on the sin in question. Block also offered a second volume of Opening Shots (Cumberland House), in which well-known writers introduce their first stories. And he served as guest editor of Penzler's The Best American Mystery Stories 2001 (Houghton Mifflin).
For the full story on both anthologies and single-author collections, see Edward D. Hoch's bibliography.

REFERENCE BOOKS AND SECONDARY SOURCES
It was, to put it simply, a banner year for books about crime fiction. Two major additions, both edited by Richard Layman with Julie M. Rivett, were made to the shelf of sources on an enigmatic and endlessly fascinating crime-fiction giant: the 650-page Selected Letters of Dashiell Hammett 1921-1960 (Counterpoint) and Jo Hammett's brief and extensively illustrated Dashiell Hammett: A Daughter Remembers (Carroll & Graf). There was also a new collection from the files of Hammett's greatest Black Mask colleague: The Raymond Chandler Papers: Selected Letters and Non-Fiction, 1909-1959 (Atlantic Monthly), edited by Chandler biographers Tom Hiney and Frank McShane and containing some material not included in earlier compilations.
The year saw first-rate examples of both autobiography (Tony Hillerman's Seldom Disappointed [HarperCollins]) and biography (James Sallis's Chester Himes: A Life [Walker]) of important crime-fiction writers.
Of more specialized interest is John E. Kramer's Academe in Mystery and Detective Fiction: An Annotated Bibliography (Scarecrow).
Collectors Press published two lavishly illustrated coffee-table books that also had informative text from their learned authors, Richard A. Lupoff's The Great American Paperback (about paperbacks generally but with an inevitable mystery emphasis) and the ubiquitous Max Allan Collins's The History of Mystery. Also combining pictorial magnificence with reference value is The Paperback Covers of Robert McGinnis (Pond), compiled by Art Scott and Dr. Wallace Maynard with an introduction by Richard S. Prather.
Fans of broadcast crime will find Michael J. Hayde's My Name's Friday: The Unauthorized but True Story of Dragnet and Films of Jack Webb (Cumberland), a landmark work.
With all these riches at hand, the most notable secondary volume of the year for this reader was The Anthony Boucher Chronicles: Reviews and Commentary 1942 to 1947, Volume I: As Crime Goes By (Ramble House), a collection edited by Francis M. Nevins of the renowned critic's columns from the San Francisco Chronicle.
Again, see Ed Hoch's bibliography for the whole picture.

A SENSE OF HISTORY
Rue Morgue Press's admirable series of revivals continued with Norbert Davis's 1943 novel The Mouse in the Mountain, a cult favorite that lives up to its hype. They also relaunched a formidable specialist in Irish gardening mysteries,Sheila Pim, with three novels: Common or Garden Crime (1945), Creeping Venom (1946), and A Hive of Suspects (1952), only the last of which had previously been published in the United States.
Wildside revived two mystery romances (not involving Charlie Chan) by Earl Derr Biggers, The Agony Column (1916) and Fifty Candles (1926). Primarily a publisher of fantasy and science fiction, Wildside also offers a dozen volumes by Arthur B. Reeve, creator of early-twentieth-century scientific sleuth Craig Kennedy (once hailed as the American Sherlock Holmes), whose adventures often are borderline sf.
The small publisher Ramble House's main purpose in life is to make available in small-format jacketed paperbacks the works of the unique Harry Stephen Keeler, including some not previously published in English (The White Circle, with an introduction by Richard Polt) or in any language (The Six from Nowhere, The Case of the Flying Hands, and Report of Vanessa Hewstone, the latter two written with Hazel Goodwin Keeler and all introduced by Francis M. Nevins). Also in print for the first time, from the science fiction press Advent, was Have Trenchcoat--Will Travel, a sixties vintage mystery novel by sf icon E. E. (Doc) Smith.
Ellery Queen, the most frustratingly unavailable of the form's true masters, made a welcome appearance in the three-novel omnibus The Hollywood Murders (Four Walls Eight Windows), including The Devil to Pay (1938), The Four of Hearts (1938), and (the best EQ Tinseltown case) The Origin of Evil (1951).
Paperback reprints of Agatha Christie are obviously not headline news, but the novels featuring her major series characters (Poirot, Miss Marple, the Beresfords) are those most frequently offered to the public. St. Martin's launched a line of nonseries Christies including The Seven Dials Mystery (1929), with a new introduction by Val McDermid, and (unintroduced but also welcome) the equally obscure The Man in the Brown Suit (1924).
The six novels that made Mickey Spillane's reputation were reprinted in The Mike Hammer Collection (NAL), two omnibus volumes, with introductions by Max Allan Collins and Lawrence Block. The latter captures Spillane's appeal as well as anyone: the creator of Mike Hammer wrote comic books in prose form.

AT THE MOVIES
The conventional wisdom is that movies generally had a better year financially than artistically, but notable cinematic crime was copious in 2001. Though Robert Altman's Gosford Hall, a classical whodunit in the Agatha Christie tradition, came along at the end of the year to great acclaim, most of the year's output was in the film noir or big caper categories.
The one sure bet for classic status was writer-director ChristopherNolan's Memento, based on a story by Jonathan Nolan. Concerning a man, played by Australian chameleon Guy Pearce, whose lack of short-term memory inhibits his detective work, the story is inevitably told backward and may take a couple of viewings to understand completely. It might take even more return trips to figure out David Lynch's controversial black-and-white interface of dreams and reality in Hollywood, Mulholland Drive. Also memorable in the dark tradition were three films with great central performances: Sexy Beast, a prime piece of Brit Noir containing one of Ben Kingsley's showiest roles since Gandhi, directed by Jonathan Glazer from a script by Louis Mellis and David Scinto; Training Day, directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by David Ayer, giving the usually heroic Denzel Washington a chance to play a flamboyantly bent cop; and L.I.E., the uncompromising, unforgiving, but unexploitative NC-17-rated study of a pederast superbly played by Brian Cox, written and directed by Michael Cuesta.
In two masterfully structured caper films that sound like but were not Richard Stark adaptations, Robert DeNiro and Gene Hackman played veteran crooks doing one last job in (respectively) The Score and The Heist. Though the latter film had the distinctive touch of writer-director David Mamet, the former, directed by Frank Oz from a script by Lem Dobbs, Kario Salem, and Scott Marshall Smith, was even more impressive. A third enjoyable caper was Steven Soderbergh's all-star remake of Ocean's 11, written by Stephen W. Carpenter and Ted Griffin.
Other good films in a tough year to pick an Edgar slate: the superb Australian film Lantana, directed by Ray Lawrence from Andrew Bovell's screenplay; Spy Game, an expert return to classical espionage directed by Tony Scott from a script by David Arata and Michael Frost Beckner; and The Deep End, written and directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel from Elisabeth Sanxay Holding's 1947 novel The Blank Wall. And I haven't even mentioned Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which is (among other things) a whodunit.

AWARD WINNERS FOR 2001
Awards continue to proliferate in the crime fiction field. The Edgars and Daggers--juried rather than subject to an all-comers vote and unrestricted by nationality or subgenre--remain the most prestigious prizes, but all the others have their raisons d'être. Awards tied to publishers' contests, those limited to a geographical region smaller than a country, those awarded for works in languages other than English, and those confined to works from a particular periodical have been omitted. Generally, these were awarded in 2001 for material published in 2000.

Edgar Allan Poe Awards
(MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA)
 

Best novel: Joe R. Lansdale, The Bottoms (Mysterious)
Best first novel by an American author: David Liss, A Conspiracy of Paper (Random House)
Best original paperback: Mark Graham, The Black Maria (Avon)
Best fact crime book: Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill, Black Mass: The Irish Mob, the FBI, and a Devil's Deal (Public Affairs/Perseus)
Best critical/biographical work: Robert Kuhn McGregor with Ethan Lewis, Conundrums for the Long Week-End: England, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Lord Peter Wimsey (Kent State University Press)
Best short story: Peter Robinson, "Missing in Action" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, November)
Best young adult mystery: Elaine Marie Alphin, Counterfeit Son (Harcourt)
Best children's mystery: Frances O'Rourk Dowell, Dovey Coe (Atheneum)
Best episode in a television series: Michael Perry, "Limitations" (Law & Order, NBC)
Best television feature or miniseries: Michael Chaplin, Dalziel & Pascoe: On Beulah Height, based on the novel by Reginald Hill (A&E)
Best motion picture: Stephen Gahgen (based on the original miniseries, Traffik, by Simon Moore), Traffic
Grand master: Edward D. Hoch
Robert L. Fish Award (best first story): M. J. Jones, "The Witch and the Relic Thief" (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, October)
Ellery Queen Award: Douglas G. Greene
Raven: Barbara Peters; Tom and Enid Schantz
Mary Higgins Clark Award: Barbara D'Amato, Authorized Personnel Only (Forge)
Special Edgar: Mildred Wirt Benson

Agatha Awards
(MALICE DOMESTIC MYSTERY CONVENTION)
 

Best novel: Margaret Maron, Storm Track (Mysterious)
Best first novel: Rosemary Stevens, Death on a Silver Tray (Berkley)
Best short story: Jan Burke, "The Man in the Civil Suit" (Malice Domestic 9 [Avon])
Best nonfiction: Jim Huang, ed., 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century (Crum Creek)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Mildred Wirt Benson

Anthony Awards
(BOUCHERCON WORLD MYSTERY CONVENTION)
 

Best novel: Val McDermid, A Place of Execution (St. Martin's)
Best first novel: Qiu Xiaoling, Death of a Red Heroine (Soho)
Best paperback original: Kate Grilley, Death Dances to a Reggae Beat (Berkley)
Best short story: Edward D. Hoch, "The Problem of the Potting Shed" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, July)
Best critical/biographical: Jim Huang, ed., 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century (Crum Creek Press)
Best anthology/short story collection: Lawrence Block, ed., Master's Choice 2 (Berkley)
Best fan publication: Mystery News, Chris Aldrich and Lyn Kaczmarek, publishers
Lifetime Achievement: Edward D. Hoch

Shamus Awards
(PRIVATE EYE WRITERS OF AMERICA)
 

Best novel: Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, Havana Heat (HarperCollins)
Best first novel: Bob Truluck, Street Level (St. Martin's)
Best original paperback novel: Thomas Lipinski, Death in the Steel City (Avon)
Best short story: Brendan DuBois, "The Road's End" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, April)

Dagger Awards
(CRIME WRITERS' ASSOCIATION, GREAT BRITAIN)
 

Gold Dagger: Henning Mankell, Sidetracked, translated from the Swedish by Steven T. Murray (Harvill)
Silver Dagger: Giles Blunt, Forty Words for Sorrow (HarperCollins)
John Creasey Award (best first novel): Susanna Jones, The Earthquake Bird (Picador)
Best short story: Marion Arnott, "Prussian Snowdrops" (Crimewave 4)
Best nonfiction: Philip Etienne and Martin Maynard with Tony Thompson, The Infiltrators (Michael Joseph)
Diamond Dagger: Lionel Davidson
Ellis Peters Historical Dagger: Andrew Taylor, The Office of the Dead (HarperCollins)
Debut Dagger (for unpublished writers): Edward Wright, Clea's Moon

Macavity Awards
(MYSTERY READERS INTERNATIONAL)
 

Best novel: Val McDermid, A Place of Execution (St. Martin's)
Best first novel: David Liss, A Conspiracy of Paper (Random House)
Best critical/biographical work: Marvin Lachman, The American Regional Mystery (Crossover)
Best short story: Reginald Hill, "A Candle for Christmas" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, January)

Arthur Ellis Awards
(CRIME WRITERS OF CANADA)
 

Best novel: Peter Robinson, Cold Is the Grave (Penguin Canada)
Best first novel: Mark Zuehlke, Hands Like Clouds (Dundurn Group)
Best true crime: A. B. McKillop, The Spinster and the Prophet (Macfarlane Walter & Ross)
Best juvenile novel: Tim Wynne-Jones, The Boy in the Burning House (Groundwood)
Best short story: Peter Robinson, "Murder in Utopia" (Crime Through Time III [Berkley])
Best crime writing in French: Norbert Spehner, Le roman policier en Amérique française (Alire)
Derrick Murdoch Award for Lifetime Achievement: L. R. Wright

Ned Kelly Awards
(CRIME WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA)
 

Best novel: (tie) Peter Temple, Dead Point; Andrew Masterson, The Second Coming
Best first novel: Andrew McGahan, Last Drinks
Best true crime: Estelle Blackburn, Broken Lives
Crime Factory Magazine Readers' Vote: Lindy Cameron, Bleeding Hearts
Lifetime achievement: Stephen Knight

Herodotus Awards
(HISTORICAL MYSTERY APPRECIATION SOCIETY)
 

Best U.S. Historical Mystery: Kris Nelscott (Kristine Kathryn Rusch), A Dangerous Road (St. Martin's)
Best International Historical Mystery: Arabella Edge, The Company: The Story of a Murderer (Australia, Pan Macmillan)
Best First U.S. Historical Mystery: Joe R. Lansdale, The Bottoms (Mysterious)
Best First International Historical Mystery: Betsy Tobin, Bone House (U.K., Headline)
Best Short Story Historical Mystery: Charles Todd, "The Man Who Never Was" (Malice Domestic 9 [Avon])
Lifetime Achievement Award: Lindsey Davis

Barry Awards
(DEADLY PLEASURES MAGAZINE)
 

Best novel: Nevada Barr, Deep South (Putnam)
Best first novel: David Liss, A Conspiracy of Paper (Random House)
Best British novel: Stephen Booth, Black Dog (HarperCollins)
Best paperback original: Eric Wright, The Kidnapping of Rosie Dawn (Perseverance Press)
Don Sandstrom Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mystery Fandom: Marv Lachman

Nero Wolfe Award
(WOLFE PACK)
 

Laura Lippman, The Sugar House (Morrow)

Dilys Award
(INDEPENDENT MYSTERY BOOKSELLERS ASSOCIATION)
 

Val McDermid, A Place of Execution (St. Martin's)

Hammett Prize
(INTERNATIONAL CRIME WRITERS)
 

Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin (Doubleday/McClelland & Stewart)
NOTE: The following awards, given in 2000 for works published in 1999, were inadvertently omitted from the Second Annual Collection:

Edgar Allan Poe Awards
(MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA)
 

Best novel: Jan Burke, Bones (Simon & Schuster)
Best first novel by an American author: Eliot Pattison, The Skull Mantra (St. Martin's Minotaur)
Best original paperback: Ruth Birmingham, Fulton County Blues (Berkley Prime Crime)
Best fact crime book: James B. Stewart, Blind Eye (Simon & Schuster)
Best critical/biographical work: Daniel Stashower, Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle (Henry Holt)
Best short story: Anne Perry, "Heroes" (Murder and Obsession [Delacorte])
Best young adult mystery: Vivian Vande Velde, Never Trust a Dead Man (Harcourt Brace)
Best children's mystery: Elizabeth McDavid Jones, The Night Flyers (Pleasant Company)
Best episode in a television series: Rene Balcer, "Refuge, Part 2" (Law & Order, NBC)
Best television feature or miniseries: Steven Schachter & William H. Macy, A Slight Case of Murder, based on a novel by Donald E. Westlake (TNT)
Best motion picture: Guy Ritchie, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Polygram)
Best play: Joe Di Pietro, The Art of Murder. Produced by Jonathan Pollard, George W George & James N. Vagias.
Grand master: Mary Higgins Clark
Robert L. Fish Award (best first story): Mike Reiss, "Cro-Magnon, PI." (AHMM July-August 1999)
Ellery Queen Award: Susanne Kirk
Raven: The Mercantile Library, Director: Harold Augenbraum

Shamus Awards
(PRIVATE EYE WRITERS OF AMERICA)
 

Best novel: Don Winslow, California Fire and Life (Knopf)
Best first novel: John Connolly, Every Dead Thing (Simon & Schuster)
Best original paperback novel: Laura Lippman, In Big Trouble (Avon)
Best short story: I.J. Parker, "Akitada's First Case" (AHMM, July/ August 1999)
Lifetime achievement: Edward D. Hoch

Dagger Awards
(CRIME WRITERS' ASSOCIATION, GREAT BRITAIN)
 

Gold Dagger: Jonathan Lethem, Motherless Brooklyn (Faber & Faber)
Silver Dagger: Donna Leon, Friends in High Places (Heinemann)
John Creasey Award (best first novel): Boston Teran, God Is a Bullet (Macmillan)
Best short story: Denise Mina, "Helena and the Babies" (Fresh Blood 3 [Do-Not])
Best nonfiction: Edward Bunker, Mr. Blue (No Exit)
Diamond Dagger: Peter Lovesey
Ellis Peters Historical Dagger: Gillian Linscott, Absent Friends (Virago)

Herodotus Awards
(HISTORICAL MYSTERY APPRECIATION SOCIETY)
 

Best U.S. Historical Mystery: Steven Saylor, Rubicon (St. Martin's)
Best International Historical Mystery: Gillian Linscott, Absent Friends (Virago)
Best First U.S. Historical Mystery: Owen Parry, Faded Coat of Blue (Avon)
Best First International Historical Mystery: Clare Curzon, Guilty Knowledge (Virago)
Best Short Story Historical Mystery: Margaret Frazer, "Neither Pity, Love nor Fear" (Royal Whodunnits [Robinson])
Lifetime Achievement Award: Paul Doherty (a.k.a. Anna Apostolou, Michael Clynes, P C. Doherty, Ann Dukthas, C. L. Grace, and Paul Harding)

Nero Wolfe Award
(WOLFE PACK)
 

Fred Harris, Coyote Revenge (HarperCollins)

Dilys Award
(INDEPENDENT MYSTERY BOOKSELLERS ASSOCIATION)
 

Robert Crais, L.A. Requiem (Doubleday)

Hammett Prize
(INTERNATIONAL CRIME WRITERS)
 

Martin Cruz Smith, Havana Bay (Random House)
Copyright © 2002 by Tekno Books and Ed Gorman

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    powerful anthology consisting of thirty-nine tales from 2001

    As usual the G and G (great goldies) team has put together a powerful anthology consisting of thirty-nine tales from 2001 that run the mystery-crime-thriller spectrum. Obviously all the inclusions have seen print elsewhere, but not under one tome before this compilation. The contributions for the most part are excellent depending on the reader¿s taste, but none are terrible regardless of palate. In addition three articles report on the general state of the genre during 2001 and four country specific reports (Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and Germany) furnish insight into the trends. THE WORLD'S FINEST MYSTERY AND CRIME STORIES, THIRD ANNUAL COLLECTION, VOL. 3 provides the audience with a delightful slice of some of the year¿s better short stories. Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Lives up to its title

    This reviewer now understands G-Force as simply Gorman and Greenberg combining their immense talents on unsuspecting readers by providing the best anthologies. The latest collection provides the audience with over forty short stories from the wide gamut of sub-genres that makes up the mystery realm. Almost all the contributions are superb as many of the genre¿s top guns provided an entry. There is also several articles providing understanding of the state of the genre in the year 2000 including insight into the status in several nations. This reviewer split her time by reading one of the eight articles for every five fictionalized stories because bluntly though the accounts are interesting; it is the fiction that draws the reader including moi. G-Force has succeeded once gain with an engaging collection that genre fans will enjoy because the stories are entertaining and the articles fascinating with where we have been and where we seem to be going. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Lives up to its name

    Just a few years ago, if anyone asked me if I enjoyed short stories, I would have responded with show me the character¿s depth or where¿s the plot. However, an E-mail cyber pal asked me if I read everything about a detective I had said was one of my favorites. My initial response was yes, but that was not true because the character had appeared in a few anthologies. I decided to try an Ed Gorman edited anthology that included the sleuth and am now hooked for life. I can leisurely enjoy reading superb stories a few tales a night instead of my usual obsession to complete a novel (or two) in one sitting. I also meet new authors and characters in typically twenty to thirty pages, which sends me hustling to find other works by them. <P>Mr. Gorman is much more than just an editor-writer. He is one of the grandmasters of putting together the right combination of stories into a collection that hook fans to want more works from his contributors. His latest effort THE WORLD¿S FINEST MYSTERY AND CRIME STORIES is as usual an excellent book that reads like an honor roll of the genre with such international notables as Block, McBain, Rankin, Hoch, and Oates, etc. <P>There are forty entries varying in quality, but none are poor as Mr. Gorman always keeps the level of performance at the highest bars. The stories have an international flavor, varying in time and place. Jon L. Breen also provides an interesting perspective into what occurred to the genre in 1999. This collection is a winner by merit of the strong contributions. <P>Harriet Klausner

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