Monday, November 23, 2015

Books: The Best American Mystery Stories 2015

(Drivebycuriosity) - I like to read mystery short stories. The best of them are crisp, compact and focused - and you don´t have to wait to long for the solution. I just finished  reading "The Best American Mystery Stories 2013" (amazon). The anthology collects 20 stories with an average length of about 20 pages. The editors Otto Penzler, who selected a short list of 50 stories,  and James Patterson, who choose the finalists, did a fine job.

My favorite tale is "Staircase to the Moon" by Theresa E. Lehr. The story is set in Australia and is told by a young woman, a pearl diver and daughter of Japanese immigrants. She wants to find out who had murdered her sister. I enjoyed the style and got emotional involved into the plot.

There are 8 more stories which I liked:

"The Snow Angel" by Doug Allen. An underaged girl was found dead in the snow at a mansion where a group of privileged kids had a party in the night before. A subtile psychological tale with a lot of twists.

"Cowboy Justice" by Andrew Bourelle. 2 brothers, kind of rednecks, want to revenge the death of the 3rd brother, who got killed by drug dealers. A violent and bloody clash of cultures.

"Wet with Rain" by Lee Child. Two Americans came to an Irish town where they want to buy a house, offering a very generous price. What do the really intend?  The story starts slowly but accelerates.

"Red Eye" by Michael Connelly & Dennis Lehan. A young girl had disappeared in Boston. A local detective and a cop from California try to find here. The story is told bit in the style of the old masters like Chandler & Hammett.

"Harm and Hammer" by Joeseph D`Agnese. A woman, who lives in witness protection, tries to create a total new life. Not much is happening here, but I enjoyed the precise descriptions how she deals with the new circumstances.

"Crush Depth" by Brendan Dubois. Boston again: A man goes weekly to the harbor where he talks with a man who uses to sit there. with a retired worker of the ship yard there. The dialog partner seems to have a dark secret.

"Molly´s Plan" by John M.Floyd. A man wants to rob a bank, which allegedly nobody robs. A nice story told with some humor. It´s fun to read.

"Shared Room on Union" by Steven Heighton. A story about a couple who made a very unsettling experience. An intense and  claustrophobic tale.

In the moment of writing offers the Kindle version for just $9,99.  The collection is highly recommended for connoisseurs of mystery stories and for those who want to get a taste of contemporary thrillers. 

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