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The Best American Mystery Stories 2005 [Paperback]

Joyce Carol Oates , Otto Penzler


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Book Description

Oct. 5 2005 Best American
The Best American series has been the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction since 1915. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of periodicals. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the very best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected--and most popular--of its kind.

The Best American Mystery Stories 2005 includes

Scott Turow • Edward P. Jones • Louise Erdrich • Dennis Lehane • Daniel Handler • Laura Lippman • George V. Higgins • David Means • Richard Burgin • Scott Wolven • Stuart M. Kaminsky • and others

Joyce Carol Oates, guest editor, is a highly respected novelist, critic, playwright, poet, and short story writer. She is the author of numerous books, including the National Book Award winner Them and most recently the novel The Falls.

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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.

From Booklist

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for lovers of dark literary fiction. Nov. 25 2005
By Ramona Wilder - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is not for sissies! It's a collection of fantastic, dark & edgy crime stories of fine quality for those who love this type of thing. Who better than Joyce Carol Oates and Otto Penzler to deliver the most unique and provocative yarns for your consumption. If you're a fan of real writing that pushes the edge, then you should read this book. Highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intricate mysteries March 31 2006
By trippin toadie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you see the title of this book and think there are twenty "whodunit" mysteries and that's what you're looking for then keep on looking. If you enjoy the mysterious nature of life and how we deal with each other and make the decisions we do then by all means please try this deeply satisfying book.

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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good collection of dark mysteries Feb. 6 2006
By Rtm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This collection edited by Joyce Carol Oates is a very good collection of dark mysteries in the tradition of Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos, Michael Connelly, and Elmore Leonard(more in line with 'Killshot' and his older works). If you are looking for more traditional mystery stories in the tradition of Agatha Christie then these stories may not be for you.
22 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible! Dark, violent, depressing -- no mysteries here Oct. 23 2005
By bookworm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
What a waste of money. I love mysteries, and compilations are my favorite. I will open the book at random and read whichever story comes to my hand. I've read 8 of the 20 stories here and kept hoping for a good mystery. What I read was stories about people that the reader is given no reason to care about -- druggies pushing one of their number off a boat, a thief who meets a bad cop, a depressed divorced man who dates a woman while considering get back with his slightly degranged wife. Ugh. Every character a low-life. This book would have been fine if labeled what it actually is -- a collection of dark violent stories about men on th edge. I never would have bought it if it had been labeled properly. You're welcome to my copy if you find it in the trash.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Wierd Collection of Dark Stories May 10 2008
By Ethan Winning - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was my first shot at reading a collection of short stories in 30 years, and I must say that I'm really disappointed. I expected mysteries - perhaps something out of a 1920's genre - but I got gruesome and morbid from beginning to end. I expected Poe; I got psychotic King. The only thing I can say for the editor is that she was consistent: it was all bad.

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