Better Mousetraps: The Best Mystery Stories of John Lutz

John Lutz, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (347p) ISBN 978-0-312-01389-9
Thirty-five short stories by Edgar-winning novelist Lutz are reprinted here, following a perceptive introduction by Nevins. Reflecting the ingenious plotting and characterizations in Tropical Heat, Nightlines and the author's other full-length adventures, these entries are a bonanza for discriminating readers. The first section contains tales of tortuous suspense, notably ""High Stakes,'' about a man forced by thugs onto a six-inch ledge outside a hotel room 12 stories above the pavement. Every second of his vertiginous ordeal, trying to open a locked window, causes palpitations in the reader. In the second section, Lutz spikes the menace with sophisticated comedy. ``Understanding Electricity'' is a delicious tale of a customer ``overcharged'' by a power company and scheming for revenge. He accomplishes this with a power outage and a literal shock. (``Watt now?'' the office secretary asks herself as her electric typewriter dies.) Nevins appends a checklist of the author's publications. (February)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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