2nd Culprit: An Annual of Crime Stories

Liza Cody, Author, Michael Z. Lewin, With
Liza Cody, Author, Michael Z. Lewin, With St. Martin's Press $21.95 (310p) ISBN 978-0-312-10925-7
Hardcover - 978-0-7011-5923-8
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Edited by crime-fiction veterans Cody and Lewin, the Crime Writers' Association Annual offers a choice, eclectic gathering of largely unpublished crime short stories. Peter Lovesey evokes the spirit of Baker Street as some English criminal types enlist an eccentric hacker to do battle with Scotland Yard's new computer, and events become distinctly ghostly and Holmesian. Margaret Yorke follows an unhappy couple on vacation: although both husband and wife hatch plans to end their unhappiness, the wishes of only one approach realization. In Reginald Hill's ``True Thomas,'' a bitter copper tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but for 24 hours--with comic, chaotic results. Tony Hillerman's contribution is an unexpected piece: a somber study of death in which a killer goes to the gas chamber and a reporter struggles with words and deadlines. Elsewhere readers can take a break with a series of droll cartoons, attempt a cryptic word puzzle (not recommended for the dilettante crime lover) and sample other fine tales, from, among others, Scotland's Ian Rankin and California's Sue Grafton. (June)
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