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Malice Domestic 2 Audio Cassette – Sep 10 2001

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"Please retry" First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist

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From Publishers Weekly

The second very solid volume in this series of mystery short stories offers ample evidence that a skillful writer can deliver a worthwhile read in pared-down prose. Amanda Cross is in fine form as she describes an unpleasant panel discussion between a macho crime writer and a genteel romantic mystery writer that ends in violence: someone guns down the sweet old lady moderating the melee. Robert Barnard confirms pet owners' suspicions that we're only here to amuse our animals when he recounts a murder from the point of view of the one uninvolved witness: a dog. Ed Gorman's engaging sleuth, a policewoman in 1890 Cedar Rapids, uses logic to discover the invisible hand behind the sudden death of an evangelical minister's wife. When, in a story by M. D. Lake, a counselor is murdered at summer camp, it is no mystery to a young girl who, while living with her battling parents, has honed her abilities to notice the details of her environment and the nuances of adult behavior. Such a variety of styles and settings offers an apt reminder of the vitality of this genre.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

YA-Traditional stories in which the mystery, not the murder, is most important. Among the 17 domestic tales included here are Robert Barnard's "Dog Television," which hinges on a canine's natural desire to dig; and "Goodbye, Sue Ellen," in which a husband and wife each plan to do the other in. A former high school drama coach stars in Gary Alexander's "The Return of Ma Barker," and uppity Melly's death doesn't bring many tears in "The Nieman Marcus Body." Teens with low gore tolerance and high inquisitiveness should find these tales a pleasant diversion.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By David R. Eastwood - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
So far, there are 9 other volumes in this series. MALICE DOMESTIC 2: AN ANTHOLOGY OF ORIGINAL TRADITIONAL MYSTERY STORIES (1993) has a very short introd. by Mary Higgins Clark (less than 2 pages) and contains 16 original short stories of varying merit: (1) "Who Shot Mrs. Byron Boyd?" by Amanda Cross (pen name of Prof. Carolyn Heilbrun); (2) "Dog Television" by Robert Barnard; (3) "Goodbye, Sue Ellen" by Gillian Roberts; (4) "Even Steven" by Taylor McCafferty; (5) "Water" by Sally Gunning; (6) "You Never Know" by Sarah Shankman; (7) "The Return of Ma Barker" by Gary Alexander; (8) "A Romance in the Rockies" by K. K. Beck; (9) "Checkout" by Susan Dunlap; (10) "The Nieman Marcus Body" by Lucretia Grindle; (11) "Anna and the Snake People" by Ed Gorman; (12) ". . . That Married Dear Old Dad" by Margaret Maron; (13) "Parris Green" by Carole Nelson Douglas; (14) "Kim's Game" by M. D. Lake (pen name of Prof. Allen Simpson); (15) "Arsenic and Old Ideas" by Jan Grape; and (16) "Cold and Deep" by Frances Fyfield.

Overall, if I were giving this anthology a letter grade, I would rate it as a "B-" and would be giving extra credit to one story that is NOT in any sense a "traditional mystery story." The ninth story, "Checkout," is a fairly clever, semi-humorous afterlife Fantasy with a punning title; it contains no mystery or crime or detection in any ordinary sense of these terms--but it is an enjoyable piece nevertheless. (And, despite its unusual subject and approach, "Checkout" was awarded both an ANTHONY and a MACAVITY in 1994.)

Otherwise, I would give an "A-" to the second story, which is cleverly told from a dog's viewpoint, and a solid "A" to the sixth and sixteenth stories (Shankman's tale about New Orleans commuters is excellently plotted and very well written, while Fyfield's is a brilliant character disclosure story, slightly marred when the author forgetfully calls one character by the name of another several times at the end). I would give a solid "C" to three stories--the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth: the first two seem surprisingly amateurish in their characterization and plotting, unlike other stories I've read by Gorman and Maron, while "Parris Green" (an Irene Adler "case" involving Oscar Wilde, an artist, and a dead model) has an excess of historical detail weighing it down. The four weakest stories--which I'd give a "D" to--are the first (a Swiss-cheese plot with zero detection, that's way below Cross/Heilbrun's usual standard), the third (far too flippantly "cute" for my taste), the fifth (in which a nasty man is supernaturally punished by "the spirit of the ocean" in a Stephen King-type Premise Story), and the fifteenth (where luck and amazing coincidences help a middle-aged mystery writer and her husband "solve" a totally implausible array of crimes).

All the other six (including "Checkout") would get a solid "B" grade from me. "Even Steven" is a skillful situation-disclosure piece with a plausible ending; "The Return of Ma Barker" is an enjoyable fair-play Puzzle Story; "A Romance in the Rockies" has well-drawn, likable characters and a very plausible mystery; "The Nieman Marcus Body" succeeds at doing (with skillful plotting and logic) the kinds of things "Arsenic and Old Ideas" misses by fifty-seven miles; and "Kim's Game" provides us with a surprisingly upbeat murder mystery, solved by a spunky, intelligent young girl at summer camp.
Five Stars Nov. 8 2014
By Nancy Pulsipher - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Looking forward to some great short stories.
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
THRILLING!!!!!!!! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):) April 26 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It was great! It had the perfecct balance of the two most important things: mystery, and suspence. You may like this book, or you may LOVE it, I happen to be one that loves it, it was cunning, and abouve all, smartly written. As a college student, I was scared to receive sleep that nite! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):) HI dad!