The Best American Mystery Stories 2013

Edited by Lisa Scottoline. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Mariner, $14.95 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-0-544-03460-0
Twenty stories—remarkable in their diversity—comprise this 17th installment of Penzler's annual anthology of the best American mystery stories. The plots and settings are more varied than a reader might expect, but what surprises is how literary many of these stories are, like the opening entry, "Smothered and Covered," by Tom Barlow, about a down-and-out guy who sees a young girl just before her mysterious death, an encounter that prompts reflection on the loss of his own daughter. The most literary of the bunch is Randall Silvis's "The Indian," about a small-town vendetta between a lowlife and his teenage best friend, though it's much too long. Michael Connelly supplies a terrific Harry Bosch story, "A Fine Mist of Blood," which reminds the reader of just how great a character Bosch can be—and the author's storytelling prowess. In "Drifter," Emily St. John Mandel tells the bizarre but compelling story of a young widow traveling in the wake of her husband's death, from the Arctic Circle to Venice, Italy, where she meets a very mysterious stranger. O'Neil De Noux, a New Orleans writer, offers an intriguing "AK" ("after Katrina") tale, "Misprision of Felony," about an investigation into the murder of a shopkeeper—a terrific setting, great prose, and an artful look at the sociology of crime. Hannah Tinti's "Bullet Number Two" is a noirish story set in the middle of nowhere in the southwest—a powerful and shocking narrative. The only element that's missing from the volume is a sense of what this selection says about the state of crime fiction in America. In his foreword, Penzler focuses on the changes that have occurred in the publishing world over the past 17 years, and guest editor Scottoline supplies a breezy, personal introduction, but neither offers much in the way of analysis or insight about the themes of contemporary crime fiction or where it might go in the future. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/23/2013
Release date: 10/08/2013
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.