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Flesh & Blood: Guilty as Sin [Paperback]

Max Allan Collins , Jeff Gelb
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This all-original anthology of 23 rather explicit erotic tales, the third in the series (after 2002's Flesh and Blood: Dark Desires), is designed, its editors say, "to shock, titillate, and thrill," but meets those goals only occasionally. With a lineup anchored by such veterans as Loren Estleman and John Lutz, readers are guaranteed some entertaining stories. Dick Lochte's leadoff tale, "Low Tide," is a solid hit about a bank robbery with some unusual aftereffects. A number of couples are represented, either writing as a team or with separate contributions. Barbara Collins has a sly story about life, death and sex in an assisted-living home ("Dalliance at Sunnydale"), while husband Max partners with Matthew V. Clemens for a sexy spoof of a retired James Bond-type agent ("Lie Beside Me"). Michael Collins (aka Dennis Lynds) teams with wife Gayle Lynds for a spy vs. spy story, in which sex seems to be the weapon of choice ("A Delicate Mission"). And Annette and Martin Meyers, who sometimes write together as Maan Meyers, get together for a tale of New York's bad old days of Polly Adler, Legs Diamond and Jimmy Walker ("The Daffodil"). Deborah Morgan's exceptional "The Windsor Ballet" features a bride-to-be who gets much more than she bargained for after visiting a male strip joint with her co-workers, while Lutz's "Nighthawks," about a deadly misunderstanding, concludes the book on a strong note.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"This is the stuff of literary Viagra....l sat down to check out one story and ended up going cover to cover. You will too."

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Seventeen Stories of Sex and Violence Aug. 21 2003
Format:Paperback
A 300-pound sex goddess tricks her lover into committing murder for her. A porn king longs to make a respectable movie, but things go horribly wrong. An elderly man finds the best lover he ever had, but she exacts a terrible price.
All of the stories in Flesh and Blood involve people who are truly guilty as sin. The most shocking story involves a serial murderer who favors a particular part of the body when he shoots his victims.
None of the stories in this collection hesitate to take a careful look at the dark side of human nature. Whether describing a woman hiding under a bed while her lover seduces another woman or a couple who have become bored with their regular life and want to seek out more daring sexual adventures, the authors do not flinch from describing human nature at its most graphic.
Many of the best stories are set in the past, during that period of the 1940s when "noire" ruled and, in fact, the editors of this collection say they were influenced by James Cain and Raymond Chandler. The editors explain that they set out to "shock, titillate and thrill."
If you have romantic ideas about love, this is not the book for you. The characters in this book say "I love you," right before they plunge in the knife or pull on the trigger. Some of the stories are shocking and some are scary, but all of the seventeen stories in this collection are very well-written.
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars A Murder & Mayhem Bookclub review April 20 2003
Format:Paperback
Short, sharp, savvy and saucy - with a nod in the direction of the classic "noir" or "hardboiled" style this short story collection delivers your crime in very edible bites.
The decorated group of authors assembled here each contribute their modern interpretation to where it all began in crime; uncomplicated motive, meaningful encounters and your murders delivered by gun and blade. The editors give their thanks to the original masters of crime fiction: James M Cain, Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane etc in what is a highly enjoyable dish of "erotic tales of crime and passion". But with a liberal splash of humour and irony.
The people we encounter every day and think nothing of it: what does that bank teller, airline attendant, security guard have cooking on their mental back burners behind the facade of polite efficiency? Murder.
Reality checks in with the fedora hat and overcoat here; enjoy these 23 windows into the everyday world that includes bad men and nasty women with a grudge. Most of these stories would aptly be described as fantastical - how many gorgeous women can the average Joe bed in a day? - but they are fun rides into the seamier side of life.
~*
Andrea Thompson
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback
The pairing is so obvious that it's remarkable someone hadn't thought to create a compilation of stories combining graphic sex with noir detective settings long ago. Isn't that what detective fiction is ultimately all about, anyway? Detective stories all seem to involve the seven deadly sins sooner or later. There's greed, envy, lust, lust, lust, lust and lust. I think I covered 'em all. However, not much else remains covered in FLESH & BLOOD: GUILTY AS SIN, the latest in the FLESH & BLOOD anthologies of original stories edited by Max Allan Collins and Jeff Gelb.
Collins needs no introduction to readers of detective fiction or to anyone else, really, since his graphic novel, THE ROAD TO PERDITION, was adapted to film. And Gelb? Horror aficionados have prized his HOT BLOOD series, edited with writer and writing instructor extraordinaire Michael Garrett, for some time now. FLESH & BLOOD is a logical outgrowth of the HOT BLOOD series and succeeds as thoroughly. The reasons for the success of both series are the uncanny ability of the editors to mix each anthology with well-known writers and those who are soon to be well known and to get their best out of all of them.
This is far more than a collection of "dirty stories." The sexual content is graphic but always fits appropriately within the context of the tale. Collins's own "Lie Beside Me," co-written with Matthew V. Clemens, is an excellent example of this. The story begins with John Sand, a retired secret agent who is finding that domestic bliss is boring. Mrs. Sand decides to re-awaken their marriage by reminding Sand of certain aspects of his exciting past, just as the past suddenly --- and dangerously --- threatens to intrude. This is the story that Ian Fleming, alas, never got to write.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seventeen Stories of Sex and Violence Aug. 21 2003
By FictionAddiction.NET - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A 300-pound sex goddess tricks her lover into committing murder for her. A porn king longs to make a respectable movie, but things go horribly wrong. An elderly man finds the best lover he ever had, but she exacts a terrible price.
All of the stories in Flesh and Blood involve people who are truly guilty as sin. The most shocking story involves a serial murderer who favors a particular part of the body when he shoots his victims.
None of the stories in this collection hesitate to take a careful look at the dark side of human nature. Whether describing a woman hiding under a bed while her lover seduces another woman or a couple who have become bored with their regular life and want to seek out more daring sexual adventures, the authors do not flinch from describing human nature at its most graphic.
Many of the best stories are set in the past, during that period of the 1940s when "noire" ruled and, in fact, the editors of this collection say they were influenced by James Cain and Raymond Chandler. The editors explain that they set out to "shock, titillate and thrill."
If you have romantic ideas about love, this is not the book for you. The characters in this book say "I love you," right before they plunge in the knife or pull on the trigger. Some of the stories are shocking and some are scary, but all of the seventeen stories in this collection are very well-written.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Murder & Mayhem Bookclub review April 20 2003
By A. J Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Short, sharp, savvy and saucy - with a nod in the direction of the classic "noir" or "hardboiled" style this short story collection delivers your crime in very edible bites.
The decorated group of authors assembled here each contribute their modern interpretation to where it all began in crime; uncomplicated motive, meaningful encounters and your murders delivered by gun and blade. The editors give their thanks to the original masters of crime fiction: James M Cain, Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane etc in what is a highly enjoyable dish of "erotic tales of crime and passion". But with a liberal splash of humour and irony.
The people we encounter every day and think nothing of it: what does that bank teller, airline attendant, security guard have cooking on their mental back burners behind the facade of polite efficiency? Murder.
Reality checks in with the fedora hat and overcoat here; enjoy these 23 windows into the everyday world that includes bad men and nasty women with a grudge. Most of these stories would aptly be described as fantastical - how many gorgeous women can the average Joe bed in a day? - but they are fun rides into the seamier side of life.
~*
Andrea Thompson
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Latest Volume Will Titillate and Challenge the Reader April 13 2003
By Bookreporter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The pairing is so obvious that it's remarkable someone hadn't thought to create a compilation of stories combining graphic sex with noir detective settings long ago. Isn't that what detective fiction is ultimately all about, anyway? Detective stories all seem to involve the seven deadly sins sooner or later. There's greed, envy, lust, lust, lust, lust and lust. I think I covered 'em all. However, not much else remains covered in FLESH & BLOOD: GUILTY AS SIN, the latest in the FLESH & BLOOD anthologies of original stories edited by Max Allan Collins and Jeff Gelb.
Collins needs no introduction to readers of detective fiction or to anyone else, really, since his graphic novel, THE ROAD TO PERDITION, was adapted to film. And Gelb? Horror aficionados have prized his HOT BLOOD series, edited with writer and writing instructor extraordinaire Michael Garrett, for some time now. FLESH & BLOOD is a logical outgrowth of the HOT BLOOD series and succeeds as thoroughly. The reasons for the success of both series are the uncanny ability of the editors to mix each anthology with well-known writers and those who are soon to be well known and to get their best out of all of them.
This is far more than a collection of "dirty stories." The sexual content is graphic but always fits appropriately within the context of the tale. Collins's own "Lie Beside Me," co-written with Matthew V. Clemens, is an excellent example of this. The story begins with John Sand, a retired secret agent who is finding that domestic bliss is boring. Mrs. Sand decides to re-awaken their marriage by reminding Sand of certain aspects of his exciting past, just as the past suddenly --- and dangerously --- threatens to intrude. This is the story that Ian Fleming, alas, never got to write.
Then there is O'Neil De Noux's contribution, "The Iberville Mistress." De Noux is a frequent contributor to Gelb's anthologies. No one can write an erotic tale set in New Orleans, that most erotic of cities, like De Noux. This tale of a private eye who becomes an unwitting, though not necessarily unwilling, instrument of the termination of a marriage is worth the price of admission all by itself.
Loren Estelman contributes a fine and humorous offering entitled "A Hatful of Ralph" about a department store detective who finds out more than he should about the extracurricular activities of a couple of coupling employees, while Gelb's "Perfection" is perhaps the ultimate cautionary tale about getting what you wish for. Garrett is represented as well in "Sex Crimes," which is the perfect title for a little band of thrill killers who, uh, really get into their work.
There are a couple of surprises as well. Clemens and Gelb score a coup with "Walking to Paris," a story by the much missed and remembered Rex Miller, who comes out of an illness-imposed retirement to present this story about a stewardess with a penchant for the ultimate payback. And then there's "Bank Job" by Thomas Roche. I was heretofore unfamiliar with Roche's work, a deficiency in my literary education that I plan to remedy soon. "Bank Job," gloriously set in San Francisco, chronicles what befalls a policeman who finds himself kidnapped during a bank robbery and who is almost too distracted by what befalls him to figure out an escape. This story is perhaps the most bizarre in the entire collection and is certainly one of the best.
FLESH & BLOOD: GUILTY AS SIN continues the tradition established by its predecessors of combining sex, violence and mystery into a steamy literary mix that both titillates and challenges the reader. Hopefully, we can look forward to seeing new volumes of this collection for many years to come.
--- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
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