Synopses & Reviews
In his introduction, guest editor James Patterson observes, “I often hear people lamenting the state of Hollywood . . . If that’s the case, I’ve got one thing to say: read these short stories. You can thank me later.” Patterson has collected a batch of stories that have the sharp tension, drama, and visceral emotion of an Oscar-worthy Hollywood production. Spanning the extremes of human behavior, The Best American Mystery Stories 2015
features characters that must make desperate choices: an imaginative bank-robbing couple, a vengeful high school shooter, a lovesick heiress who will do anything for her man, and many others in “these imaginative, rich, complex tales” worthy of big-screen treatment.
The Best American Mystery Stories 2015 includes
Tomiko M. Breland, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Jeffery Deaver, Brendan DuBois,
Janette Turner Hospital, Dennis Lehane, Theresa E. Lehr, Joyce Carol Oates,
JAMES PATTERSON, guest editor, has sold over 300 million books worldwide, including the Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, Women’s Murder Club, Maximum Ride, and Middle School series. He supports getting kids reading through his children’s book imprint, jimmy patterson, as well as through scholarships, grants, book donations, and his website, ReadKiddoRead.com.
OTTO PENZLER, series editor, is a renowned mystery editor, publisher, columnist, and the owner of New York’s The Mysterious Bookshop, the oldest and largest bookstore solely dedicated to mystery fiction. He has edited more than fifty crime-fiction anthologies.
"The 20 entries in series editor Otto Penzler's 18th annual collection of crime stories impress with their quality, diversity, and almost complete absence of private detectives or policemen as main character. The many gems include 'Almost Like Christmas,' a recently discovered, heart-wrenching story by the late Joseph Heller, as well as selections from such well-known mystery writers as James Lee Burke ('Getting Across Jordan') and Megan Abbott ('My Heart Is Either Broken'). There are also strong offerings from mainstream authors, such as Russell Banks's 'Former Marine,' which is about an elderly bank robber and his sons, and Annie Proulx's 'Rough Deeds,' which reaches back to colonial times. Charlaine Harris displays her sly wit in 'Small Kingdoms,' in which a high school principal defends her turf, and Matthew Neill Null's 'Gauley Season' takes readers wild river rafting in West Virginia, where not all dangers come from the water. Guest editor Lippman has chosen wisely. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"This collection is sure to please mystery fans as well as those who enjoy short stories"--Library Journal
"The 20 short stories in the 14th edition of this “best of” series offer a wider variety than some of its predecessors...While this volume contains relatively few household names, the quality certainly doesnt suffer as a result."--Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
"Penzlers foreword...in favor of an eclectic mix of tales that exhibit crime in all its varieties in every corner of the world—and then some."--Kirkus Reviews
The 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 DuBoiss "Ride-Along," in which a veteran cop and a freelance reporter get involved in a robbery, and Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklins "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 Gormans memorable "Flying Solo," two old men dying of cancer make the most of their last days. As in previous volumes, its hard to find lighter fare, but S.J. Rozans 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 years crop of 20 stories offers a variety of tastes and textures. But exotic doesnt always mean compelling. Charles McCarrys "The End of the String," set in Africa, lumbers like an elephant toward a conclusion as momentous as a mouse. "Diamond Alley," Dennis McFaddens 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 Merkners 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 Langes "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. Rozans "Chin Yong-Yun Takes a Case." An absentee fathers return challenges a wife whos moved on in Joe R. Lansdales "The Stars Are Falling." But Chris F. Holm shows in "The Hitter" that sometimes the greatest threat is to the dads themselves. Families dont 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 Blocks "Clean Slate" and Loren D. Estlemans "Sometimes a Hyena" aptly demonstrate. But nasty behavior isnt 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 its least expected. It has its highs and lows, but the best of Cobens Best is really first-rate." —Kirkus
"These short stories lean more toward horror than whodunits, casting long shadows despite their brevity. Editor Patterson singles out stories that have cinematic scope. Jeffery Deaver's "The Adventure of the Laughing Fisherman" gives a tip of the deerstalker to Sherlock Holmes through a protagonist who uses his deductive genius for more sinister ends. In "Molly's Plan," John M. Floyd maps out a nearly impossible bank robbery with a twist ending so ingenious it's tempting to root for the bad guys. The specter of war figures into several tales: a sniper questions his ability to continue in the field; a vet now working in elder care carries out a vendetta; and a woman deranged by war is herself as volatile as an IED. Children are in peril in numerous stories, from abductors, teachers, truly vicious nuns, and sometimes each other. Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane team up in "Red Eye," sending Harry Bosch to Boston, where he and Patrick Kenzie try to find a missing girl whose abductor keeps to a tight schedule. "The Home at Craigmillnar" is Joyce Carol Oates' chilling take on the abuse scandals in Catholic children's homes, serving up rough justice to Mother Superior decades after her reign of terror. Stories set in Haiti and off the Australian coast brighten up the noir, albeit largely in shades of red. Of particular interest for would-be mystery writers: notes at the end of the book feature brief descriptions of each story's inspiration and development, an illuminating peek into the creative process. Richard Lange's "Apocrypha," a bank heist tale primarily set in a tenement hotel, was rescued from a novel the author couldn't develop, and it's a gritty jewel. These edgy tales strike hard and fast but leave vivid memories behind."--Kirkus Reviews
The best-selling and award-winning Laura Lippman edits a collection of the best mystery writing published in 2013 selected from hundreds of magazines, journals, books, and websites.
“With so many great authors contributing to this fiction collection . . . it doesnt take detecting skills to discover the gem. And every story dazzles . . . These stories, in prose both elegant and compelling, get to the heart of why people do what they do.” — USA Today
The Best American Mystery Stories 2014 will be selected by “writing powerhouse” (USA Today) Laura Lippman. With her popular Tess Monaghan series and her New York Times best-selling standalone novels, Lippman has greatly expanded the boundaries of modern mystery fiction and psychological suspense.
Mega best-selling mystery and thriller novelist James Patterson edits a collection of the best mystery writing.
A collection of the best mystery writing published in 2012 culled from a variety of sources.
Best-selling novelist Lee Child edits this latest collection of the genres finest from the past year. Featuring gritty tales told with panache,” this is a must-read for anybody who cares about crime stories” (Booklist).
A best-selling novelist and Edgar Award winner, Lisa Scottoline brings her mastery of the thriller genre as well as her wit and heart to this collection of the must-reads in mysteries.
The Best American Series®
First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the countrys finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volumes 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
“Readers who haven’t yet sampled the series . . . should be urged to check it out; they will discover that a well-told mystery story can pack all the wallop of a full-length novel.” — Booklist
Mega-best-selling mystery and thriller novelist James Patterson is the editor for The Best American Mystery Stories 2015. With his perennially popular Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, and Michael Bennett series, Patterson is “The Man Who Can't Miss” (Time).
About the Author
OTTO PENZLER is a renowned mystery editor, publisher, columnist, and owner of New York's The Mysterious Bookshop, the oldest and largest bookstores solely dedicated to mystery fiction. He has edited more than fifty crime-fiction anthologies.Laura Lippman is the author of eleven novels featuring Baltimore private detective Tess Monaghan, eight stand-alone novels, including After I'm Gone coming out in February, and a short story collection. Her six most recent books have all been New York Times bestsellers. Lippman has won numerous literary prizes for her work, including the Edgar®, Anthony, Nero Wolfe, Agatha, Gumshoe, Barry, and Macavity Awards.
Table of Contents
Foreword • ix
Introduction • xiii
Smothered and Covered • 1
A Fine Mist of Blood • 14
ONEIL DE NOUX
Misprision of Felony • 29
The Sailor in the Picture • 46
DAVID EDGERLEY GATES
The Devil to Pay • 61
The Street Ends at the Cemetery • 91
Crossing • 126
Remora, IL • 158
Thy Shiny Car in the Night • 172
EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL
Drifter • 180
The Ring of Kerry • 194
Quarry • 211
JOYCE CAROL OATES
So Near Any Time Always • 225
Light Bulb • 263
Gunpowder Alley • 277
When They Are Done with Us • 300
The Indian • 316
The Dons Cinnamon • 366
Bullet Number Two • 381
MAURINE DALLAS WATKINS
Bound • 392
Contributors Notes • 406
Other Distinguished Mystery Stories of 2012 • 418