The Best American Mystery Stories 2011 Paperback – Oct 4 2011
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
ReviewThe excellent 15th edition of this "best of" series, edited by myster maven Otto Penzler, contains 20 winning short stories, many by relative unknowns. Among the standouts are Brendan DuBois’s "Ride-Along," in which a veteran cop and a freelance reporter get involved in a robbery, and Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin’s "What His Hands Had Been Waiting For," in which the struggle for survival in the Mississippi Delta during the terrible 1927 flood takes a strange turn. In Ed Gorman’s memorable "Flying Solo," two old men dying of cancer make the most of their last days. As in previous volumes, it’s hard to find lighter fare, but S.J. Rozan’s clever "Chin Yong-Yun Takes a Case" is a beautifully crafted and satisfying tale of amateur detection. Other contributors include such pros as Lawrence Block, Loren D. Estleman, and Mickey Spillane and Max Collins. --STARRED Publishers Weekly "Ranging from homespun to lush and tropical, this year’s crop of 20 stories offers a variety of tastes and textures. But exotic doesn’t always mean compelling. Charles McCarry’s "The End of the String," set in Africa, lumbers like an elephant toward a conclusion as momentous as a mouse. "Diamond Alley," Dennis McFadden’s quiet tale of small-town teens confronting the murder of a popular classmate, packs a far greater punch. Family stories are equally powerful. In Christopher Merkner’s chilling "Last Cottage," a young couple tries to outlast a neighbor determined to oust them from their waterfront home. Across cultures, mothers protect. In Richard Lange’s "Baby Killer," Blanca struggles with an acting-out granddaughter. And although embarrassed by her profession, a Chinese mother helps her detective daughter in S.J. Rozan’s "Chin Yong-Yun Takes a Case." An absentee father’s return challenges a wife who’s moved on in Joe R. Lansdale’s "The Stars Are Falling." But Chris F. Holm shows in "The Hitter" that sometimes the greatest threat is to the dads themselves. Families don’t always grow through birth or marriage, as Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin reveal in "What His Hands Had Been Waiting For." And of course, some families are just plain toxic, as Lawrence Block’s "Clean Slate" and Loren D. Estleman’s "Sometimes a Hyena" aptly demonstrate. But nasty behavior isn’t just a family affair. Eric Barnes shows teenagers wreaking havoc for no particular reason in his slow-moving "Something Pretty, Something Beautiful." And in "A Long Time Dead," Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins show that evil can turn up where it’s least expected. It has its highs and lows, but the best of Coben’s Best is really first-rate." —Kirkus
From the Back Cover
The Best American Series(r)
First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected and most popular of its kind.
"The Best American Mystery Stories 2011" includes
Lawrence Block, Brendan DuBois, Loren D. Estleman,
Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin, Ed Gorman, Richard Lange, S. J. Rozan,
Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, and others
Harlan Coben, editor, is the "New York Times" best-selling author of twenty novels, including "Live Wire," "Caught," "Long Lost," "Hold Tight," and "Tell No One," as well as the popular Myron Bolitar series. The winner of Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony awards, Coben lives in New Jersey.
Look for the other best-selling titles in the Best American series:
THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS
THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS
THE BEST AMERICAN NOREQUIRED READING
THE BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE AND NATURE WRITING
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES
THE BEST AMERICAN SPORTS WRITING
THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING
"See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I had three overwhelming favorites in the anthology. First was "The Stars Are Falling," by Joe R. Lansdale, a stylish post-World War One historical with the feel of a ghost story, though there is no ghost, only ghostly memories and a story learned backwards. It's not so much about a mystery solved, but the narrator's gradual discovery that there is a mystery, and then putting together the pieces to discover what it is.
Charles McCarry's "The End of the String" is a spy story, reminiscent of le Carré, with a richly-evoked African setting.
S. J. Rozan's "Chin Yong-Yun Takes a Case" is by the author of the Lydia Chin and Bill Smith series of novels--but in this story, it's Lydia Chin's mother, bunions and all, who plays detective and solves a case.
Though I much prefer reading novels to short stories, I'm still glad I read the anthology, because they gave me a good sampling of the mystery genre as it is today. I was especially pleased to find stories set in countries other than the United States, and featuring more diverse characters. My only wish is that there had been more stories by women authors, especially if they were as much fun as Rozan's.
The Best American Mystery Stories 2011 has great variety and I was more than impressed with the overall quality. Of the twenty short stories there were only two I didn't much care for. For me the stand out's included Clean Slate by Lawrence Block is the story of a woman damaged by her childhood who has found a way to take revenge, Flying Solo by Ed Gorman involves two elderly men dying of cancer leaving a better world behind them and Chin Yong Yun Takes a Case by SJ Rozan is a case of amateur detection in Chinatown by a minor character in Rozan's Lydia Chin series.
Many of the stories are quite dark and violent as to be expected when the story centers around crime. Some mysteries are solved, others are open ended leaving you to wonder. In others just who is the victim isn't clear. My interest in several authors work was piqued by this collection, others I was already a fan of.
I really enjoyed reading the Contributors Notes where the author provides some background to the development of their story. It's an inside look into inspiration that is rarely seen.
The Best American Mystery Series 2011 is a terrific read and I hope to get my hands on a few of the previous years issues. If you are a crime/mystery fan then you will surely appreciate this outstanding anthology, it's a must read.
My choice top story is Eric Barnes' Something Pretty, Something Beautiful due to the way he painted the characters and the realism by which he did it. I know it was great writing when I felt myself connecting with the characters, even though I did not exactly go through the same experiences that they had. The writing has inspired me to pick up a pen and a pad, and to start writing again.
Other stand-outs include Last Cottage and Audacious. However, having said this, I did not dislike any of the stories. You will find this out as you read the anthology yourself. This is an excellent selection that introduces the reader to the writing styles of the various authors. This is my first "Best American" compilation purchase and chances are, it won't be my last. I have head good reviews about the "short story" selection as well.
Let me know your thoughts about the stories... it will be fun to exchange notes about them.
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Canadian > Collections & Readers
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Canadian > Short Stories
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Anthologies
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > Canadian
- Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Anthologies
- Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Canadian Detectives
- Featured Stores > Markdowns > Books