A Killing Climate: The Collected Mystery Stories Paperback – Oct 2003
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*Starred Review* Wright is a celebrated Canadian mystery writer, creator of the Charlie Salter series and winner of four top awards from the Crime Writers of Canada. This collection showcases all of Wright's 16 mystery short stories, spanning the years 1984-2003. Most of the selections were written by invitation for Canadian anthologies, with the exception of a 2003 novella starring Salter that was written expressly for this volume. Several of the stories provide slice-of-life glimpses into Canadian fishing and construction camps near Hudson Bay. Wright should be an extraordinarily refreshing voice to U.S. readers. At a time when mystery writing is dominated by police procedurals and tough-guy suspense tales, Wright offers puzzles that showcase character, in the Poe tradition of the unreliable narrator; that resurrect intellectual exercises, such as the locked-room puzzle; and that provide a satisfying update on the old-fashioned O'Henry twist. And Wright provides a deft mix of atmosphere and character, as in "Licensed Guide," in which a fishing camp at the end of August is ripe for murder, and "The Duke," in which a camp cook's ordered world is challenged by a tormentor. Wright's introduction to this collection offers an intriguing reflection on writing short fiction--"Short stories are much harder to write than novels"--that could be a stand-alone essay on the genre. A superb collection; let's hope it generates a new wave of fans for the too-little-known Wright. Connie Fletcher
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