I should note from the start that I only listened to the nine stories on the CD audio edition, so my comments only reflect roughly half of the book's contents. I have to say that they were a bit of a disappointment overall. One would expect a collection of mystery stories to have some, well, mystery... Instead, the stories are heavy on atmosphere, emphasizing it over plot, and sometimes there is only the slimmest connection to crime at all. Roxana Robinson's "Face Lift" for example, is a curious inclusion by any measure. I'm not any kind of genre purist, nor am I big fan of whodunits, or traditional mysteries-but it seems like the editors were going more for stories with cachet (either a name literary author such as Russell Banks or Joyce Carol Oates, or a name source publication like Esquire), rather than actually finding mysteries that are great reads. I'm also not one who likes to puzzle out the endings to mysteries ahead of time, but I had the endings spotted halfway through the three most "traditional" mysteries of the nine on the CD (which were also my three favorites as it happened). The only story to make me somewhat interested in reading something else by the author was Peter Robinson's "Missing in Action", which had an interesting WWII setting and a light touch. Still, one out of nine isn't a great success rate, and if the other eleven stories are of the same ilk, I'd have to recommend skipping this year's collection.