A New Omnibus of Crime Paperback – May 28 2010
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Mystery writer Hillerman and critic Herbert (aided and abetted by Sue Grafton and Jeffery Deaver as contributing editors) draw a vivid chalk outline of the body of crime fiction since Dorothy Sayers published her overview of the genre, The Omnibus of Crime, in 1929. The goal of this anthology is to demonstrate the ways in which crime fiction has changed since Sayers' collection. The editors include mystery fiction from the 1930s through the 1970s that they consider groundbreaking (so we find Sayers herself, as well as Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Ed McBain as representative crime-fiction revolutionaries). The editors also take on the range of mystery writing since 1980, including stories by Hillerman, Ian Rankin, and Alexander McCall Smith. There are 26 stories in all, from authors around the globe, and each story is accompanied by an introduction that explains the author's style and how he or she influenced mystery writing. Catch this omnibus. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"The best and most satisfying mystery bargain to come along in years. It will give readers countless hours of pleasure and surprise in one volume." --Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Not a clunker in the bunch...Dorothy Sayers edited a classic 1920 collection of short stories called 'The Omnibus of Crime.' There have been numerous collections since then, but until now, none has had the depth, intelligence and chutzpah to call itself 'A New Omnibus of Crime.'" --Bloomberg News
"A worthy successor to Dorothy L. Sayers's classic Omnibus of Crime (1929)." --Publishers Weekly
"Picking up where Dorothy L. Sayers's 1920 classic, The Omnibus of Crime, left off, this collection gathers works of short mystery fiction from the end of World War I to today, including pieces by Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, Dashiell Hammett, Elmore Leonard, Ruth Rendell and P.D. James." --Good Housekeeping
"A New Omnibus of Crime is essential for anyone with more than a passing interest in detective fiction. Brilliantly assembled, and beautifully edited by people who know what they're doing." --Robert B. Parker, author of Double Play and Cold Service
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Now, Tony Hillerman and Rosemary Herbert have followed suit in providing a new anthology which seeks to do the same for mystery writing in the modern era.
Whether they have succeeded in providing a gathering equivalent to that of Miss Sayers may depend as much on personal taste of the reader as on the quality of the assembled works. That they have gathered an impressive collection of works by writers from the 1930s to the present goes without saying. The collection also illustrates the changes which have taken place in style, characterization and attitude.
The anthology begins with a gem of a story by Miss Sayers and concludes with a charming little piece written by Alexander McCall Smith especially for this volume. Hillerman, himself, is represented with two stories. There are tales by many familiar names and I was pleased to be introduced to a few writers new to me who will now be added to my reading list.
This is a volume worthy of any mystery-lover's bookshelf.
There is a little something for everyone here and the stories almost flow in chronological order of publication. I do think that you’ll see how tastes have changed – exposition versus dialog (note slang) – but the meat and potatoes of excellent storytelling are all here.
Fast note: I knew of Frederic Brown as a sci-fi writer, so I was surprised to see him here. The Elmore Leonard story was the late author’s favorite of his short stories. I liked all of them for different reasons, but Chandler’s “Red Wind” is a knockout. Hillerman points to the late James Crumley as a Chandler successor, with respect to use of language.
You can’t go wrong with this collection.
Dorothy L. Sayers: The Man Who Knew How
Dashiell Hammett: The Girl with the Silver Eyes
Raymond Chandler: Red Wind
Frederic Brown: The Wench Is Dead
Ross Macdonald: Gone Girl (Is this where Gillian Flynn got her title?)
Margaret Millar: The Couple Next Door
Dorothy Salisbury Davis: By The Scruff of the Soul
Julian Symons: Flowers That Bloom in the Spring
Patricia Highsmith: Woodrow Wilson’s Necktie
Ruth Rendall: Loopy
P.D. James: Great Aunt Allie’s Fly Papers
Tony Hillerman: First Lead Gasser
Tony Hillerman: Chee’s Witch
Donald E. Westlake: Breathe Deep
John Mortimer: Rumpole and the Bubble Reputation
Sue Grafton: A Poison That Leaves No Trace
Sara Paretsky: Photo Finish
Peter Lovesey: The Crime of Miss Oyster Brown
Michael Malone: Red Clay
Ed McBain: Barking at Butterflies
James Crumley: Hostages
Elmore Leonard: When the Women Come Out to Dance
Ian Rankin: The Hanged Man
Catherine Aird: The Holly and the Poison Ivy
Jeffrey Deaver: Copycat
Alexander McCall Smith: He Loved to Go for Drives with His Father
The impetus in the earlier version was more on plot than on characterization, whereas the present book reverses this stress, although plot is not neglected. This volume start off in high fashion with stories by luminaries such as Dorothy Sayers, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler.It also contains works by highly successful present day writers such as Ed McBain and Elmore Leonard. Writers less well-known to the reader will be found interesting and imaginative. One of the nice features of this collection is the great variety of genres, settings, diabolical twists, and character developments shown in the stories.
recommend it to anyone who is interested in detective stories, police procedurals, or just plain human disturbances ending up in murder. The editors of this book have given us a very real achievement. Altogether outstanding.