Synopses & Reviews
In The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century
, best-selling author Tony Hillerman and mystery expert Otto Penzler present an unparalleled treasury of American suspense fiction that every fan will cherish.
Offering the finest examples from all reaches of the genre, this collection charts the mystery's eminent history from the turn-of-the-century puzzles of Futrelle, to the seminal pulp fiction of Hammett and Chandler, to the mystery story's rise to legitimacy in the popular mind, a trend that has benefited masterly writers like Westlake, Hunter, and Grafton. Nowhere else can readers find a more thorough, more engaging, more essential distillation of American crime fiction.
Penzler, the Best American Mystery Stories series editor, and Hillerman winnowed this select group out of a thousand stories, drawing on sources as diverse as Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Esquire, Collier's and The New Yorker. Giants of the genre abound Raymond Chandler, Stephen King, Dashiell Hammett, Lawrence Block, Ellery Queen, Sara Paretsky, and others but the editors also unearthed gems by luminaries rarely found in suspense anthologies: William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, Damon Runyon, Harlan Ellison, James Thurber, and Joyce Carol Oates. Mystery buffs and newcomers alike will delight in the thrilling stories and top-notch writing of a hundred years' worth of the finest suspense, crime, and mystery writing.
"Just when it seemed safe to think we were through with 'best of the century' compilations, here comes one more but a very good one....Hillerman and Penzler...prove more than equal to the challenge [of compling such a widely divergent a group of styles]. Hillerman's selections cross all the borders, paying appropriate homage to the early giants of the American mystery (O. Henry, Ellery Queen) and the hard-boiled masters (Hammett, Chandler, Cain) but devoting plenty of space to the post-1950 set....The best read of the lot: Michael Malone's superb 'Red Clay,' a melancholy jewel in which there is no wrong word." Bill Ott, Booklist
"[This] book offers pleasures aplenty." The New York Times
Beloved bestselling author Tony Hillerman and mystery maven Otto Penzler have gathered 100 years' worth of peerless suspense tales into a volume every fan will cherish. Nowhere else can readers find a more thorough, more engaging, more essential distillation of American suspense.
An unparalleled treasury of American 19th century mystery fiction selected and introduced by Otto Penzler.
An unparalleled treasury of crime, mystery, and murder from the genres founding century
With stories by Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, L. Frank Baum, Edith Wharton, Stephen Crane, and Jack London, The Best American Mystery Stories of the Nineteenth Century is an essential anthology of American letters. Its a unique blend of beloved writers who contributed to the genre and forgotten names that pioneered the form, such as Anna Katharine Green, the godmother of mystery fiction, and the African-American writer Charles W. Chesnutt. Of course, Penzler includes “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” recognized as the first detective story, and with thirty-three stories spanning the years 1824-1899, nowhere else can readers find such a surprising, comprehensive take on the evolution of the American mystery story.
About the Author
'Otto Penzler is the founder of the Mysterious Bookshops and the Mysterious Press and an Edgar Award winner. He lives in New York City.Tony Hillerman\'s many honors include the Mystery Writers of America\'s Edgar and Grandmaster prizes, the Silver Spur Award for Best Novel set in the West, and the Navajo Tribe\'s Special Friend Award. His best-selling novels include The First Eagle, The Fallen Man, and Finding Moon.'
Table of Contents
Foreword by Otto Penzler ix Introduction by Tony Hillerman xiv
1903 O. Henry A Retrieved Reformation 1 1905 Willa Cather Paul's Case 8 1905 Jacques Futrelle The Problem of Cell 13 26 1914 Frederick Irving Anderson Blind Man's Buff 58 1916 Melville Davisson Post Naboth's Vineyard 73 1917 Susan Glaspell A Jury of Her Peers 85 1925 Dashiell Hammett The Gutting of Couffignal 105 1925 Ring Lardner Haircut 133 1925 Wilbur Daniel Steele Blue Murder 144 1928 Ben Ray Redman The Perfect Crime 162 1933 James M. Cain The Baby in the Icebox 178 1933 John Steinbeck The Murder 193 1934 Damon Runyan Sense of Humor 204 1938 Pearl S. Buck Ransom 212 1938 Raymond Chandler Red Wind 235 1942 James Thurber The Catbird Seat 279 1942 Cornell Woolrich Rear Window 288 1946 William Faulkner An Error in Chemistry 318 1947 Harry Kemelman The Nine Mile Walk 335 1947 Ellery Queen The Adventure of the President's Half Disme 344 1950 John D. MacDonald The Homesick Buick 363 1953 Ross Macdonald Gone Girl 375 1955 Stanley Ellin The Moment of Decision 405 1955 Evan Hunter First Offense 426 1957 Margaret Millar The Couple Next Door 443 1957 Henry Slesar The Day of the Execution 458 1962 Patricia Highsmith The Terrapin 466 1965 Shirley Jackson The Possibility of Evil 479 1965 Flannery O'Connor The Comforts of Home 489 1967 Jerome Weidman Good Man, Bad Man 508 1969 Joe Gores Goodbye, Pops 523 1973 Harlan Ellison The Whimper of Whipped Dogs 530 1973 Robert L. Fish The Wager 547 1973 Joyce Carol Oates Do with Me What You Will 556 1978 Stephen King Quitters, Inc. 568 1981 Jack Ritchie The Absence of Emily 587 1984 Lawrence Block By the Dawn's Early Light 597 1984 Stephen Greenleaf Iris 615 1984 Sara Paretsky Three-Dot Po 635 1986 Sue Grafton The Parker Shotgun 649 1989 Donald E. Westlake Too Many Crooks 665 1996 James Crumley Hot Springs 678 1996 Brendan DuBois The Dark Snow 694 1996 Michael Malone Red Clay 713 1998 Tom Franklin Poachers 729 1999 Dennis Lehane Running Out of Dog 770
Biographical Notes 801