The Best American Mystery Stories 1999 Paperback – 26 Nov 1999
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About the Author
Ed McBain, a recipient of the Mystery Writers of America's coveted Grand Master Award, was also the first American to receive the Diamond Dagger, the British Crime Writers Association's highest award. His books have sold more than one hundred million copies, ranging from the more than fifty titles in the 87th Precinct series (including the Edgar Award nominated "Money, Money, Money)" to the bestselling novels written under his own name, Evan Hunter including "The Blackboard Jungle" (now in afiftieth anniversary edition from Pocket Books) and Criminal Conversation. "Fiddlers, " his final 87th Precinct novel, was recently published in hardcover. Writing as both Ed McBain and Evan Hunter, he broke new ground with "Candyland, " a novel in two parts. He also wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds." He died in 2005.
OTTO PENZLER is a renowned mysteryeditor, publisher, columnist, and owner ofNew York's The Mysterious Bookshop, the oldest and largest bookstore solely dedicated to mystery fiction.He has edited more than fifty crime-fiction anthologies.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Fans of short stories will love this anthology that includes works by Block, Deaver, Estleman, Gorman, Oates, Updike, etc. among the nineteen tales. 1999 THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES is a winning short story collection because the editors widen the genre barriers while including nineteen strong tales. There is not one loser among the contributions.
My favorite story in the group was the first one (BLIND LEMON by Doug Allyn). It was a moving story in which two strangers reunite ten years later after getting their friend killed. Due to guilt as well as fear, they both go their separate ways trying to escape the tragedy. They see each other at a bar where one of them is performing. The story was very poignant and heartfelt. I wish Mr. Allyn success with his other works.
My main disappointment was with Jonathan Kellerman's THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE. It was a good story and it could have been a surprise to the reader. Unfortunately, it is in a book about mysteries. If things seem a little too ordinary three quarters of the book, then there must be a twist somewhere in the end. I think this story would have worked better in an anthology of love or family stories, as well as in a magazine guided towards women.
It is good to read short stories every once in a while to discover new and promising authors. As I previously stated, nothing really stands out in this particular anthology, however, I recommend the 1998 as well as the 1999 Best Mystery stories. You will find some pleasant surprises in them.
1. "Keller's Last Refuge" by Lawrence Block
I thought that he should have retitled it "Panache" if you read it and understand why. A nice beginning story about a hitman.
2."Safe" by Gary A. Braunbeck
The story connects a horrifying massacre in the past to one in the present. That survivor's story is filled with guilt and grief of his own. I found this story to be edgy and daring. I really enjoyed it but hated the senseless crimes in it.
3."Fatherhood" by Thomas H. Cook
A great but sad story. It's told in first person about a man who marries the woman of his dreams and their son who only wanted to love his father. A good but predictable twist but not much sympathy for the narrator in this one.
4."Wrong Place, Wrong Time" by Jeffrey Deaver
It's about a crime in a Vermont town where a robbery has gone terribly wrong.
5."Netmail" by Brendan DuBois
A very interesting story about email blackmail going terribly wrong.
6."Redneck" by Loren D. Estleman
A mixed up couples murder taken place at the Alamo motel. It's an okay story.
7."And Maybe the Horse Will Learn to Sing" by Gregory Fallis
A wife hires a PI to follow her husband who she suspects his cheating. It has a nice twist in this one without anybody getting murdered or killed.
8."Poachers" by Tom Franklin
A memorable story about three Gates brothers in Alabama. The writing was very descriptive, detailed, and you felt like you were right there. A very good story.
9. "Hitting Rufus" by Victor Gischler
A small town in Mississippi hires a killer to take out Rufus. Surprisingly humorous and easy to follow about an entire town taking out a dictator-type character.
10."Out There in the Darkness" by Ed Gorman
A good story about vigilante that went wrong with four friends trying to stop burglars in the act. Without giving the story away, it reminds me of the film, "Deliverance," but it has it's own uniqueness with it.
11."Survival" by Joseph Hansen
A Bohemian man gets kidnapped by a white supremacist militia group in Idaho on the verge of terrorism. It's very good.
12."A Death in Ho-Chi Minh Trail" by David Hanford
An interesting mystery story about the murder of an American soldier in Vietnam on the Ho-Chi Minh trail. There are surprising twists in this one about what actually happened and why.
13."An Innocent Bystander" by Gary Krist
A man picks up a young hitch-hiker and takes her home for the night. The twist occurs with what happens later and I don't want to spoil what happens here. It's a good story and I didn't see the twist coming.
14."The Jailhouse Lawyer" by Phillip Margolin
The lawyer reminds you of Gerry Spence recalls the best lawyer wasn't an actual lawyer but a convict who became his own lawyer and the circumstances involving the crimes. Another twist that goes on that you won't see coming.
15."Secret,Silent" by Joyce Carol Oates
A clever story form writing genius, Joyce Carol Oates, about a young girl, Kathryn who embarks on a trip to Albany in upstate New York from her hometown to be interviewed at a college there. On the Greyhound bus ride, she meets Karla and strikes an unlikely friendship. Oates is very well known to be detailed and very organized in this story.
16."In Flanders Fields" by Peter Robinson
The setting for this story is World War II English village where Mad Maggie is found mysteriously murdered during an air raid. The main character determines to learn who killed her and why and stumbles on her madness. I found it interesting especially with World War I as part of the mystery.
17."Dry Whiskey" by David B. Silva
An adult son and his alcoholic father's relationship since the death of his mother from ovarian cancer. An interesting story but not surprising.
18."Sacrifice" by L.L. Thrusher
A sad story about a PI following a young distraught mother and her young daughter in California with disappointing results. A good but sad story.
19."Bech Noir" by John Updike
An unsuccessful writer gets back at scornful critics. It's an interesting story.