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Two Of The Deadliest: New Tales of Lust, Greed, and Murder from Outstanding Women of Mystery Paperback – Apr 12 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (April 12 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061350346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061350344
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #166,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on July 30 2009
Format: Hardcover
The amount of suspense that can be generated in just a few pages is amazing - that is if you have topnotch mystery writers. That is precisely what Elizabeth George offers in her collection of 23 never before published stories by outstanding women authors. Granted crime/mystery is a genre usually occupied by men, but read this and you may decide the female is the scariest of the species.

The title is a reference to the Seven Deadly sins. For George's purposes here Two of the Deadliest are lust and greed. Each writer offers a different take on one of these topics, all are surprising spellbinders.

Consider lust examined in "E-Male" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Gavin seems like an ordinary kind of guy who starts the day by padding barefoot to fix a mocha grande with sprinkles. He's lucky enough to work at home (a small rent-controlled apartment), and happy to live alone with his cat.

There's very little Gavin doesn't know about a computer, which makes it perhaps time consuming for him but also easy to access the email accounts of Stella - "his almost-wife; his now-ex-girlfriend." They hate each other. A restraining order was issued when Stella told a judge, "Gavin seems to think he owns me. He watches me all the time. I'm afraid of him." Restraining order or no Gavin is still very much keeping his eye on her, reading the email she sends and the email she receives. He knows where she is, what she's thinking.

But suddenly her email take on a new tone; she no longer chats with most of her men friends. In fact, she has stopped answering posts from her family, which is not like her at all. But, there is nothing Gavin can do because he cannot go near her.

Greed is the focus in "The Offer" By Patricia Smiley.
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Amazon.com: 17 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A BONANZA FOR MYSTERY LOVERS July 30 2009
By Gail Cooke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The amount of suspense that can be generated in just a few pages is amazing - that is if you have topnotch mystery writers. That is precisely what Elizabeth George offers in her collection of 23 never before published stories by outstanding women authors. Granted crime/mystery is a genre usually occupied by men, but read this and you may decide the female is the scariest of the species.

The title is a reference to the Seven Deadly sins. For George's purposes here Two of the Deadliest are lust and greed. Each writer offers a different take on one of these topics, all are surprising spellbinders.

Consider lust examined in "E-Male" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Gavin seems like an ordinary kind of guy who starts the day by padding barefoot to fix a mocha grande with sprinkles. He's lucky enough to work at home (a small rent-controlled apartment), and happy to live alone with his cat.

There's very little Gavin doesn't know about a computer, which makes it perhaps time consuming for him but also easy to access the email accounts of Stella - "his almost-wife; his now-ex-girlfriend." They hate each other. A restraining order was issued when Stella told a judge, "Gavin seems to think he owns me. He watches me all the time. I'm afraid of him." Restraining order or no Gavin is still very much keeping his eye on her, reading the email she sends and the email she receives. He knows where she is, what she's thinking.

But suddenly her email take on a new tone; she no longer chats with most of her men friends. In fact, she has stopped answering posts from her family, which is not like her at all. But, there is nothing Gavin can do because he cannot go near her.

Greed is the focus in "The Offer" By Patricia Smiley. A marketing job at a drive-through pet-wash company might not seem like much but it's Mari Smith's last hope. She fell for a scam from a man claiming to be the Nigerian minister of education which wiped out her savings, and now has maxed out her Visa to fly to Los Angeles and apply for this job.

In an odd turn of events when she heads for baggage claim in LA she sees a limo driver holding a partially obscured sign - all she could see was MARI SMI. Once the driver moves his hand she see that it reads Marion Smithson, but she has already approached him. He tells her he is there to drive her downtown to her hotel and the ride has been prepaid by the company.

Perhaps too beaten down to think clearly (and it'll save paying a cab) she accepts the ride - a ride such as she's never experienced. The limo holds champagne in an ice bucket, and a welcome gift - a gold Cartier watch. Could a start-up pet servicing company possibly afford this? Read and discover how far Mari takes the charade and where it takes her.

That's just a small sample of the intriguing stories in this unique collection, which also includes a new tale by editor George.. "Two of the Deadliest" is perfect for mystery lovers as you can dip into it whenever you wish to enjoy the work of your favorites or meet new writers. Enjoy!

- Gail Cooke
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
These Are a Few of My Favorite Sins July 23 2009
By takingadayoff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Two of the Deadliest features short stories about lust and greed by women mystery writers. I enjoy anthologies, but even the best achieve only about a .500 batting average, which is to say I like about half the entries and am not so crazy about the other half. But an anthology is a grab bag and it's fun just to see what's in it.

Two of the Deadliest is the best anthology I have read in years. I enjoyed about 80% of the stories in it. There were familiar authors, such as Nancy Pickard, Linda Barnes, Marcia Muller, Laura Lippman. There were new writers who have never been published before.

One of the standouts was Anything Helps by Z. Kelley, about a single mother in Las Vegas who befriends a mysterious homeless man who panhandles outside the convenience store where she works. Another is The Offer by Patricia Smiley, which follows a woman en route to a job interview as she is mistaken for a candidate for an entirely different job. Cougar by Laura Lippman finds a woman whose threatening son has moved back into her house along with his obnoxious girlfriend. And Elizabeth George's Lusting for Jenny, Inverted tells of a woman who unexpectedly inherits a house, spurring her to make some uncharacteristic choices.

Elizabeth George, author of the Inspector Lynley mysteries, is the editor who brought this whole project together. While I'm a fan of the TV series based on her mysteries, I have not found the books quite as riveting. But as an anthology editor, George is outstanding. Her previous collection, A Moment on the Edge: 100 Years of Crime Stories by Women, collects some of the best short crime stories written by women over the past century. Two of the Deadliest is a satisfying follow-up.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Interesting Collection Oct. 22 2010
By Sam Sattler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Two of the Deadliest" is a collection of 23 short stories specifically centered on "two of the deadliest" of the seven deadly sins: lust and greed. Of the stories, 18 are written by women already established in the genre and 5 by female newcomers. As in most short story collections, there are hits and misses in this volume, but the newcomers do score with what is perhaps the best story of them all, Z. Kelley's "Anything Helps." And, surprisingly, one of the weaker stories in the collection comes from the book's editor, Elizabeth George.

Many of the stories are set in contemporary, big city America, but there are also side trips to France (in the 1920s), rural California (in 1916), rural Texas (in the 1930s) and contemporary Ireland. The narrators of "Two of the Deadliest's" audio version were well chosen and, with an exception or two, were nicely matched to the stories they read. I did, however, find both the tone of the story titled "Enough to Stay the Winter" (by Gillian Linscott) and that of its reader to be particularly dull. I still cannot decide whether I should blame that more on the story or the reader.

Of the book's 23 stories, I most enjoyed "Everything Helps" by one of the newcomers, Z. Kelley. Despite its violence, this is a rather endearing story about a single mother so desperate for the money she needs to pay for her son's urgent surgery that she takes a cashier job in a Las Vegas storefront that combines slot machines and sales of pornographic material from a back room. The woman befriends a homeless man who panhandles on the street outside the storefront and surprises herself by how much she looks forward to seeing him each day. This story is solid all the way through, and its ending is a memorable one. Kelley is a good storyteller and she has filled her story with remarkable characters: the two Arab brothers who run the little casino, the cashier's mother and son, her co-worker, and the homeless man who gives her the courage to go on with life.

I also particularly enjoyed Wendy Hornsby's alternate history version of Jack London's death, "The Violinist." This one, set in 1916 during London's last days, speculates about the people who surrounded London at the end of his life and whether or not one of them might have had a personal reason for wanting to see him dead. Was it suicide or murder? Hornsby builds a good case for the latter while introducing the reader to some of the people and problems London was dealing with at the end of his life.

The beauty of a large collection of stories like this one is the likelihood that there will be stories in it to please any reader. Whether or not different readers will agree about which are the best stories is a whole other question, and that is another part of the fun. Frankly, I could take or leave most of the stories in the book because they struck me as pretty average. Of the 23, I would say that about half a dozen are outstanding, ten are average, and the rest are not very good. I will leave it up to future readers to decide for themselves which are which.

I do have one final thought, however, concerning Elizabeth George's contribution to the book, "Lusting for Jenny." The story is passable all the way up to the ending George chose for it. As the story progressed (no spoilers here), I could see the possibility of a clichéd ending ahead, but I hoped that it would not be chosen by George. Unfortunately, that is exactly what she used - and it is that ill chosen ending that will first come to mind any time I think about "Two of the Deadliest."

Rated at: 3.0
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An anthology of well-written stories. Jan. 20 2013
By Bookworm2 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Mystery, suspense and crime writer by, about and for women. There are 23 stories and 460 pages with writers Marsha Talley, Patricia Smiley, Susan Wiggs and Julie Barrett just to name a few. I especially enjoyed the story written by the editor and writer Elizabeth George "Lusting for Jenny". This is a really good story with a great deal of irony.

If you really like the writing of female crime writers, this book will be right up your alley.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good summer reading May 26 2012
By margeaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Anything by Elizabeth George is always a pleasure. Here we have short stories by several different writers which makes fine leisurely reading. Easy to put down after one is finished. Then come back when ready. As I said - great for beach reading.

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