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Murder By Magic
By Rosemary Edghill
Warner AspectCopyright © 2004 Rosemary Edghill
All right reserved.
It is a truism of publishing that sooner or later every author wants to commit murder, and I have proof: a new take on the mean streets from Laura Resnick, a charmingly chilling story from Carole Nelson Douglas, alternate police procedurals from Josepha Sherman and Keith DeCandido-detectives amateur, private, and decidedly outside the law, in settings ranging from the haunted galleries of Elizabethan England to the worlds of the Eraasian Hegemony. And from Jennifer Roberson, perhaps the strangest detective of all.
I hope you'll enjoy these twenty stories ranging from the past through the future, set both here and ... Elsewhere.
When I set out to assemble Murder by Magic, the contributors had only two rules to follow to write a qualifying story: there had to be a crime (preferably murder), and magic and the supernatural had to be somehow involved, either in the commission or in the solution of the crime.
As you will see, that left plenty of room for variation, from James Macdonald's very traditional psychic investigator to Will Graham's wisecracking supernatural adventurers to Josepha Sherman's deadpan hilarious civil service magicians to Diane Duane's lyrical tale of a policeman's last case. And, yes, in Debra Doyle's Eraasian country-house "murder," a homage to detective fiction of the 1920s and a tragedy in the Classical sense of the word.
When it came time to choose an order for the tales in Murder by Magic, I found that the stories seemed to fall naturally into five categories that turned out to pretty well encompass most of the variations on today's supernatural detective story. Some stories were easy to fit into my five pigeonholes-a historical occult mystery certainly is, after all, and a historical mystery with animated chairs is naturally fantastical. But others I hesitated over until the last minute-was "Overrush" a Murder Most Modern or a Murder Unclassifiable? Which subgroup did "The Case of the Headless Corpse" really belong in? Was "Snake in the Grass" Unclassifiable or Fantastical? At last, with much trepidation, I made my final decisions. You may agree with me, or you may not-the fun of getting to be the editor is that I get the final say about what goes where. And certainly you'll have your own favorite stories out of all those presented here, as I have mine (I'm not telling which ones mine are, but here's a hint: there are twenty of them).
Opinions exist to differ, but one thing I'm sure we'll both agree on is that, based on the evidence, the Occult Detective is alive and well a century and more after his "birth"-though Doctor John Silence might be hard put to recognize some of his literary descendants.
And whether it's a story of clandestine and unexpected magic set in the real world, or a tale set in an alternate universe in which magic openly replaces science, the rules for a good mystery-supernatural or otherwise-are always the same: find the killer and bring him (or her, or even it) to justice.
I hope you'll enjoy your foray into the shadows, where impossible crimes are commonplace. I've gotten you some excellent guides.
There's nothing to fear.
Excerpted from Murder By Magic by Rosemary Edghill Copyright © 2004 by Rosemary Edghill . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
|Part I||Murder Most Modern||3|
|Piece of Mind||5|
|Special Suprise Guest Appearance by ...||21|
|Mixed Marriages Can Be Murder||51|
|The Case of the Headless Corpse||63|
|Part II||Murder Unclassifiable||81|
|A Death in the Working||83|
|Snake in the Grass||111|
|Part III||Murder Most Genteel||171|
|Captured in Silver||173|
|A Night at the Opera||189|
|A Tremble in the Air||205|
|Part IV||Murder Fantastical||243|
|Getting the Chair||277|
|Part V||Murder Most Historical||293|
|The Necromancer's Apprentice||295|
|About the Editor||346|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I picked this up as a lark after seeing the cover, and have to say it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. PIECE OF MIND offers a nice twist on a sensational murder case, DOUBLE JEOPARDY is a well crafted story of a Wiccan Troubleshooter who would give Uma Thurman in the 'Kill Bill's a run for her money (what a concept!) but my personal favorite is MIXED MARRIAGES CAN BE MURDER. The author of MMCBM has obviously seen too many episodes of 'Hart to Hart' and 'Remington Steele', but he adds a VERY nice twist to the concept, and does so in a clever way without being silly. I laughed out loud at the very last line in the story, but won't give it away. Buy this one...it's the perfect solution to a rainy afternoon. When is MURDER BY MAGIC II coming out?????
A mixed lot of fantastical murder-by-magic tales ranging from0 spine-chilling to mind-numbing. I hunted it down for entries by Laura Anne Gilman and Mercedes Lackey - both of which turned out to be rather lack-luster. But both Will Graham's "Mixed Marriages can be Murder" and Laura Resnick's "Doppelgangster" took up the slack nicely, and I also enjoyed Esther Friesner's "Au Purr" - the nice thing about an anthology stuffed so full of different pieces; if one doesn't suit there's another just a page-turn away.
Well, of course I enjoyed this one for combining two of my favourite genres.
It is very rare that I am able to say that I enjoyed every story in an anthology, but that is the case for this volume. Many of the stories have a humorous quality, not so much laugh out loud as being pastiches of various mundane mystery and other genres.There is a great diversity in the types of stories. The characterizations and story-telling are uniformly good to outstanding. The works tend to be set in somewhat feudal cultures, as fantasy usually is, but others are quite modern or otherwise set in familiar times and places (if you credit the existence of magic.)Worth reading both for fantasy aficionados and mystery fans.
An outstanding collection, although both LC and Amazon have it listed falsely as "Murder And Magic."
This is one of the few anthologies that I can say was worth the price of admission. There are 20 short stories and nearly everyone of them held up for me. Some excellent authors contributed to this; Mercedes Lackey, Susan Krinard, Jennifer Roberson, Laura Resnick, Roberts Gellis, Laura Ann Gilman to name a few.
An anthology of interesting stories covering some of the subgenres of fantasy and the supernatural.
ALL of the stories were tremendous reads. Highly recommended for anyone - teen though adult.
I picked up this book only because Mercedes Lackey had a short story in it and I try to read everything she's published. As a general rule I'm not a big fan of mysteries, but these short stories were almost all so good that I wished they were full blown novels. There were only two or three exceptions, but all the writers were wonderful and I have a list of new ones to read now. My favorite thing about the book, though, was that each of the stories is only a handful of pages long. So I could read one in bed and not have to worry about staying up all night because I didn't want to stop reading like normal. Funny, sweet, scary, surprising, these stories cover anything you can have a desire for.
A fun, fast, enjoyable book consisting of crime stories with an otherworld theme.