The Best American Mystery Stories 2005 Paperback – Oct 5 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Says series editor Otto Penzler, "It's about finding the best stories, by whoever happens to have written them," in his foreword to this outstanding mystery annual. He chose Joyce Carol Oates as this year's guest editor, and Oates almost immediately put her brand on the book—not waiting for Penzler to send her the top 50 choices from which she would winnow the 20 final entries, but branching out on her own, finding some of the volume's best stories by beginning writers in small circulation magazines as well as in collections from relatively unknown publishers. There's also much star power, made even more impressive by the editors' resistance to famous names getting in on reputation alone. Dennis Lehane's "Until Gwen," Laura Lippman's "The Shoeshine Man's Regrets," Louise Erdrich's "Disaster Stamps of Pluto" and Scott Turow's "Loyalty" are as good as any full-length novels these writers have produced recently. And what a great pleasure it is to have the remarkable talents of the late George V. Higgins displayed in all their glory in "Jack Duggan's Law."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Wags might expect this annual anthology, under Oates' guest-editorship, to grow to 1,000 pages--or at least to begin publishing quarterly. Never fear. Collaborating with series general editor Penzler, she has selected a tight 20 stories. In his foreword, Penzler praises the genre-blurring evolution of "mystery" stories and provides proof of his premise in the following pages. The roster includes well-known surnames--Erdrich, Higgins, Kaminsky, Lehane, Sayles, and Turow--but the lesser-knowns (culled more often from literary journals and even e-zines) deliver delightful surprises: in "The Identity Club," Richard Burgin draws a high-concept karmic circle; in "The Last Man I Killed," David Rachel maps a connection between war and academe; in "Reconstruction," Sam Shaw sends two misfits on the lam; and in "Barracuda," Scott Wolven puts a crooked timber appraiser through a series of left turns. Readers irked by the lack of pure detection can console themselves with "Delmonico," a locked-room noir, by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket). For any fan of good storytelling. Keir Graff
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Favorite stories of mine are When All This Was Bay Bridge by Tim McLoughlin, Delmonico by Daniel Handler and The Last Man I Killed by David Rachel. There are also wonderful stories by Dennis Lehane, Scott Turow, Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward P. Jones and writer/director John Sayles. While the book is not full of "mysteries" many stories do have plot twists and surprises that will keep you turning the pages. They all deal with crimes in different ways and how they can effect us. Some crimes happen to the narrator; in some the narrator commits the crime. Not all is what it seems in these stories.
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