Top positive review
One person found this helpful
A good idea executed well.
on 8 July 2013
Thank goodness all the stories in this mix are not about vampires. Personally, I don't like vampire stories, but I do enjoy other elements of the paranormal so I had high hopes when I saw that the subtitle of the book is Mysteries From the Dark Side. And there are many excellent stories collected here. It is always interesting to read something written by an author in a genre or sub-genre they don't normally write in. I find they often go off in directions quite unexpected and that was certainly true here. My absolute favorite story is by Margaret Maron titled "Small Change" where she presents a completely different slant on the entire shape-shifter topic. Not only was it delightful from that perspective, but she also created a young female heroine who could very easily carry a full novel. I am a devoted fan of Alan Bradley and his eleven year old heroine Flavia de Luce in a mystery series. This story reminded me strongly of the Flavia books except with a really original twist added. Other favorites were from William Kent Krueger - you will never think of pork in the same way again! and S. W. Hubbard - could any family seem any more normal and yet not be?
This compilation has paranormal elements from all areas of the dark side, some menacing, some simply intriguing. I was very glad to find that I had not read any of the stories in previous anthologies except the offering from Carolyn Hart (Riding High) so was able to find many authors I'm interested in doing further investigations of. There are twenty short stories which was a good number. There was even a Mike Hammer story written by Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane. The explanation for how that story came about was interesting to read.
I liked this concept of having authors who write mystery stories stretch their imaginations to take a slight walk on the wild side. The results kept me entertained and interested.