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The Best American Mystery Stories Paperback – 2 Oct 2012

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

The Best American Series(r)
First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected and most popular of its kind.
The Best American Mystery Stories 2012 includes
Peter S. Beagle, Kathleen Ford, Mary Gaitskill, Lou Manfredo, Thomas McGuane,
Gina Paoli, T. Jefferson Parker, Kristine Kathryn Rusch,
Charles Todd, Daniel Woodrell, and others

[INSERT AUTHOR PHOTO] ROBERT CRAIS, editor, is the 2006 recipient of the Ross Macdonald Literary Award. The author of many New York Times bestsellers, most recently The Sentry and Taken, he lives in Los Angeles.
Look for the other best-selling titles in the Best American series:


About the Author

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.

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Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars 103 reviews
39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best American Mystery Stories 18 Nov. 2012
By Karen B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I find that this book is very well put together and I respect the opinion of the writers that selected the works that are in the book. Though I do not find all of them to my taste...I find that they are a fine representation of the range of mystery writing.
I find the book to hold my interest very well and I some times forget the time when I am reading on of the stories.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You Take the Good, You Take the Bad... 14 Jun. 2013
By Duane Schneider - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The enjoyment you get from this book will depend a lot on the baggage you bring to it. First: expectations. What do you expect a mystery story to be or do? I came in anticipating whodunits with a corpse, a gumshoe, and a list of possible suspects. Maybe that's hard to accomplish in the short story form. Series editor Otto Penzler's nebulous definition of a "mystery" story sounds more like a product disclaimer than a statement of faith. Basically, Penzler contends that any story containing even a whiff of a crime fits the bill. Thus you get something like Thomas McGuane's "The Good Samaritan" where the long con art theft is almost a sidenote to the piece's main themes. Personally, I'm fine with this looser definition since I felt the strongest stories in the collection were the ones that weren't trying to fit any set genre conventions. Second: literary tastes. To my mind, the "New Yorker" stories by McGuane and Mary Gaitskill stood in stark contrast to the more conventional genre exercises by the likes of Tom Andes, Joe Donnelly, Harry Shannon, and T. Jefferson Parker. Some readers will pick up this anthology wanting the standard genre stuff. Personally I felt it was harmed by its proximity to the McGuane and Gaitskill stories that don't quite fit the mold. Gaitskill's story, "The Other Place," was the true standout of the collection. It is a story devoid of any true crimes or mysteries, though full of dark impulses, imagined crimes, and almost-crimes. Effortlessly Gaitskill creates scenes that cause the reader's pulse to quicken--a teen gazing in a sleeping girl's window, a hitchhiker and a cancer victim on a quiet stretch of road. What's amazing about the story is the way Gaitskill is able to articulate broad themes of violence and sexuality in such a compressed manner. Her story is so complex, so resonant, that it causes other stories in the collection to seem tired or one-dimensional by comparison.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the definition of a short story has changed 19 Mar. 2013
By Jan Strnad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a pretty good collection of stories. As with any anthology, it contains stories that I like better than others.

I wonder if I'm out of touch with what a short story is these days.

I was schooled on the short stories of Saki (H. H. Munro) and Chekhov and O. Henry (William Porter), stories that had a clear point, often a twist (but not always), and which were, well, SHORT. You could tell that you were reading a short story, even if you didn't know the word count, solely on the compactness of the writing. In this and other anthologies I've read lately, a good number of the stories seem to be written with the pace of a novel, and the stories stretch out for ten, twenty, thirty pages.

Certainly the short stories of my youth weren't this way. The "Year's Best S-F" collections, author collections, work by Bradbury, Bloch, Matheson, Vonnegut...they didn't go on and on and then leave you wondering, "What was that about?"

Not every story in this anthology fits this description, and as I said, it's a pretty good collection. I would expect to be blown away by an anthology with such a pedigree, however, and I wasn't. This is one of those cases when I'd like a "3.5 stars" rating.
55 of 74 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars some were decent, but only one mystery. 5 Dec. 2012
By B.W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There wasn't but one mystery in the bunch. Some were good short stories, some were not but it is not a collection of mysteries.
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yay 26 Oct. 2012
By A. Hyde - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love these collections. Moreover, the authors who are chosen as editors are often favorites of mine, and I enjoy their insights on the process they go through. I highly recommend any or all of these yearly collections.
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