Amor Towles selects the best mystery short stories of the year, including tales by Andrew Child, Jeffery Deaver, and T.C. Boyle.
In his introduction to this volume, guest editor Amor Towles pays tribute to the forgotten person of the mystery story—the cadaver. “Male or female, old or young, rich or poor,” he writes, “for over a hundred years the cadaver has been accommodating, gracious, and generally on time. There is no other figure in crime who has proven to be more reliable.”
Like the cadaver, this anthology series, now in its third year of publication, is also proving reliable, bringing to readers the finest mystery/crime/suspense stories of the year from a variety of sources including mystery and general interest magazines, anthologies, online publications, and literary periodicals.
Among the treasures collected herein are Jeffery Deaver’s “Dodge,” in which a chess match between a volatile woman and a U.S. marshal takes a surprise twist; “The Landscaper’s Wife,” a suspense-filled tale by Brendan DuBois that explodes all expectation; and Kerry Hammond’s “Strangers at a Table,” which offers a darkly witty homage to Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple.
The collection contains well-known authors such as T.C. Boyle and up-and-comers such as Jessi Lewis; it features tales with famous crime-fighters (Jack Reacher and Sherlock Holmes) and a bonus story from the annals of mystery history by Edith Wharton. In short, these pages promise something for every reader of crime fiction, no matter the particularities of his or her taste.
Amor Towles is the author of New York Times bestsellers Rules of Civility, A Gentleman in Moscow, and The Lincoln Highway. The three novels have collectively sold more than six million copies and have been translated into more than thirty languages. Towles lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children.
Otto Penzler, the creator of American Mystery Classics, is also the founder of The Mysterious Press (1975); MysteriousPress.com (2011), an electronic-book publishing company; and New York City’s Mysterious Bookshop (1979). He has won a Raven, the Ellery Queen Award, two Edgars (for the Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection, 1977, and The Lineup, 2010), and lifetime achievement awards from NoirCon and The Strand Magazine. He has edited more than 70 anthologies and written extensively about mystery fiction.
Across a dizzying number of subgenres, this collection delights by prizing quality over name recognition. There’s something here for every mystery fan.
— Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW
Variety is the keynote for these 21 recent reprints and one century-old bonus story.
Top marks once again to Penzler and his chosen authors, and to guest editor Towles for yet another outstanding annual compilation of mystery stories. This one deserves a place in every mystery collection.
— Booklist STARRED REVIEW