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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 71 short mystery stories
This collection of seventy one short stories by Lawrence Block contains virtually all of his well known characters such as Matt Scudder, Bernie "the burglar" Rhodenbarr, Chip Harrison, Keller and my favourite Martin Ehrengraf (the psycho defence lawyer that's a cross between Lionel Hutz and Joe Pesci's character from Goodfellas) as well as around thirty other self...
Published on 12 May 2001

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Not to my taste
I didn't like the downbeat endings. I have only read three of the stories and don't think I will bother with the rest.
Published 16 months ago by Goldilocks


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 71 short mystery stories, 12 May 2001
By A Customer
This collection of seventy one short stories by Lawrence Block contains virtually all of his well known characters such as Matt Scudder, Bernie "the burglar" Rhodenbarr, Chip Harrison, Keller and my favourite Martin Ehrengraf (the psycho defence lawyer that's a cross between Lionel Hutz and Joe Pesci's character from Goodfellas) as well as around thirty other self contained stories.
All effortless reading and non stop suspense from one of the finest writers. This book despite it's size is the perfect companion for train, bus and plane rides. The language is clear, straight forward and not obnoxiously wordy leaving the reader to enjoy the stories for what they are, stories and very entertaining ones at that.
This compilation contains some stories not previously published in the UK as well as a number of others that were originally published in Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some cracking short stories, 20 Dec 2011
By 
The Emperor (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Collected Mystery Stories (Kindle Edition)
This really is a brilliant book for dipping into.
Lawrence Block is a great writer. I am impressed by how he is able to handle a number of different styles. This collection includes stories from his Burglar series where he displays a wonderful lightness of touch and there also some Scudder stories which are far grittier and even moving at times.

The only stories that I had read before were three " Keller" ones that do appear in the first Keller book.
Occasionally some of the stories are a little throwaway but for the most part they are brilliant examples of short story telling at its best. In just a few lines he can really set up a story.
Some of these tales are humorous, some are disturbing and others have a real twist in the tale.
However they are all very well written.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's where the Kindle works well, 10 Nov 2011
By 
Jl Adcock "John Adcock" (Ashtead UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Collected Mystery Stories (Kindle Edition)
I am a huge fan of Lawrence Block, and having the Collected Mystery Stories available for Kindle is something of a bonus. A 700 page book downloaded in less than one minute, and easily portable, is proof indeed that for some forms of reading (but not all) - the ebook certainly has its advantages. I used this volume as my first experiment in downloading and reading ebook content - and have not been disappointed.

The short stories themselves are excellent, and that says a lot in a genre that usually disappoints. Block's economy of writing style, dark sense of humour and general storytelling excellence drives the pacy narrative and plots in the stories collected here. You can either dip in and out - another great feature of ebooks - or read the stories by series character.

Terrific entertainment - and it doesn't take up massive amounts of shelf space. A wonderful collection of stories by Block.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not many better, 13 May 2014
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This review is from: The Collected Mystery Stories (Kindle Edition)
I love Lawrence Block's Burglar series of novels and remembered his name from reading the Ellery Queen/Alfred Hitchcock short story magazines a good few years back.

I bought this and was staggered at how prolific Mr Block is. This is a huge book. And yet halfway through I still managed to lose it even in our tiny house!

So I had to buy it again. I think this was the first book I ever bought for the Kindle app (I was still unconvinced and so it had been freebies until then). And it was this purchase that persuaded me that Kindle had a purpose. You can't carry around a book this size, and it would take a chunk out of your baggage allowance as a holiday read.

Anyway, back to the book. You cannot possibly fault it. if you don't like a story don't worry, another will be along soon.

Now I've done the short stories and the Burglar books, I'll be thinking about where I go next in Lawrence Block's body of work. Suggestions welcome.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good short stories, 15 Sep 2013
By 
Rebecca H. Whitehead (UK) - See all my reviews
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Good introduction to a very good writer, who has written several series of novels, featuring different characters. His short stories are good too, and if you have read some of his work, it is nice to visit old friends.
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5.0 out of 5 stars All the stars are here, 17 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Collected Mystery Stories (Kindle Edition)
I love Lawrence Block. He tells gripping thriller stories. You have to keep turning the pages and some of the "twists" will surprise even avid readers of the genre. This collection brings together dozens of his short stories, many of which are only available in anthologies like this. Al his regulars are here, "burglar" Bernie Rhodenbarr, "assassin" Keller, "private dick" Matt Scudder, "bent lawyer" Martin Ehrengraf and a host of "one offs", including many unpublished before digitally. True I've already bought some of the stories in other formats, but it's over 800 pages and a steal at the price. Thoroughly recommended.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not to my taste, 24 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Collected Mystery Stories (Kindle Edition)
I didn't like the downbeat endings. I have only read three of the stories and don't think I will bother with the rest.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Collection, 15 Jun 2011
By 
Mr. A. J. Smith (Devon, England) - See all my reviews
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to this writer if he's a new name to you and a must for all seasoned Block fans. Lawrence Block, I would suggest, is not that well known, or read, in the UK. In your local Waterstones you may find a couple of random samples of his prodigious output - chances are you'll find nothing at all. All of which is, in my opinion, a great pity; Block really is the grand master or crime fiction. His tales are set in and around his native New York and feature a wide range of characters: Bernie Rhodenbarr the book selling burglar, Keller the stamp collecting hit man and Scudder the crime solving ex-policeman are but a few. Some of these characters (including all of the above) have formed the basis of hugely entertaining series. The Scudder books are widely regarded as amongst the best crime fiction written and have been an inspiration for many writers, including Reed Farrel Coleman for whom Scudder formed a loose base for his own troubled former NYPD flatfoot Moe Prager.
I'll be honest, I'm not normally a huge fan of short stories - I'm more into characterisation than plot and consequently they always seem to leave me strangely unfulfilled. However, here Block has pulled of the successful trick of setting a good proportion of the stories around his already known lead characters (if you've read his books, that is). So this collection really works for me. It's a big book (over 700 pages) and I can't claim to have read all of the stories - yet - but the tales I've read so far have whetted my appetite for more and I can but marvel at Block's use of the English language - his ability to mix humour and pathos; how he's made every phrase, every word count.
In summary, it's a brilliant introduction
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a book you need to own, 17 Jan 2002
By A Customer
a marvellous collection !
if you're familiar with just one or two of Block's creations, this will introduce you to his others.
if your a Block fanm or just a mystery fan, you should own this book - it is a superb collection of short stories that you will be able to dip into any time
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