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The Oxford Book of American Detective Stories Hardcover – 25 Apr 1996

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"Certain to be the standard anthology of American detective stories for years to come."--Edward D. Hoch, editor of The Year's Best Mystery and Suspense Stories"The Oxford Book of American Detective Stories is indispensable to anyone interested in the form."--Robert B. Parker, creator of the Boston private-eye, Spenser

About the Author

About the Editors: Tony Hillerman, one of America's leading mystery novelists, was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. He is the creator of the Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee characters, and his books include Dance Hall of the Dead, A Thief of Time, and Talking God. Rosemary Herbert writes a mystery book review column for the Boston Herald. She is the author of The Fatal Art of Entertainment: Interviews With Mystery Writers and is editor-in-chief of the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing.

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First Sentence
Although his life was short and tragic, Edgar Allan Poe is considered by a few to be the founder of American letters, by many to be the inventor of horror stories and fantasy novels, and by one and all to be the father of detective fiction. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A remarkable collection of American detective fiction 4 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I am taking a class this semester, Mysteries, and this book is the required text. I have always enjoyed mysteries, but this book has added to that pleasure immensely. Hillerman and Herbert have done an extraordinary job of piecing together a good representative slice of American detective/mystery writers past and present. The books begins with Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." The editors wrap the selection up with Marcia Muller's "Benny's Space," published in 1991. The book spans the evolution of the American detective story throughout its entire history.
I highly recommend this anthology to anyone who enjoys reading the short story. With few exceptions, the stories in this book are very enjoyable mysteries.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Breaking the Rules, the Evolution of the American Detective Story - Good Collection 17 Jan. 2006
By Michael Wischmeyer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Critics have observed that the widely popular detective story is essentially a literary game, and have speculated that readers might tire of its structured formula, thereby leading to the eventual disappearance of this genre. Nonetheless, after more than 150 years, the mystery story remains vibrant. Why is this so? The Oxford Book of American Detective Stories provides an answer.

Tony Hillerman and Rosemary Herbert have assembled stories that trace the evolution of the American detective short story. Their contention, amply supported by their selections, is that American authors have stretched, modified, and violated the rules and structural form of the detective story, thereby continuously enriching this genre, and ensuring its longevity. Each story is preceded with an interesting, one-page discussion on topics like the emergence of credible female detectives, the growth of regionalism, and the development of authentic, psychologically complex characters.

This literary theme is interesting in itself, but the primary attraction is the stories. I especially liked I'll Be Waiting (Raymond Chandler), Small Homicide (Ed McBain), Guilt-Edged Blonde (Ross MacDonald), Christmas Party (Rex Stout), Words Do Not A Book Make (Bill Pronzini), Benny's Space (Marcia Muller) and Chee's Witch (Tony Hillerman).

Some were titles that I have encountered elsewhere: Rear Window (Cornell Woolrich), The Problem of Cell 13 (Jacques Futrelle), The Doomdorf Mystery (Melville Davisson Post), The Parker Shotgun (Sue Grafton), An Error in Chemistry (Faulkner) and The Murders in the Rue Morgue (Poe). Others were by early masters of this genre: Erle Stanley Gardner, John Dickson Carr, Ellery Queen, Anthony Boucher, and Edward Hoch.

All in all, the thirty-three stories selected by Hillerman and Herbert create a satisfying, enjoyable anthology, one that will appeal to avid readers of detective fiction.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Interesting selection 21 Sept. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
There are a good mix of stories here. They range over a broad time period, early to present. I like the fact that there were some authors I haven't read yet, or others that I never associated with mysteries. The reason I didn't give it five stars is that there were quite a few stories that I had already read in other anthologies. Nice introductions to each story, with background info on the author.
EVOLUTION 3 July 2013
By BbP - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
editors-tony hillerman AND rosemary herbert
a very nice read--great price--fast ship

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