cover image Sisters in Crime 2

Sisters in Crime 2

Various. Berkley Trade Pub, $4.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-425-11966-2

This worthy successor to Wallace's superb first collection contains 21 previously unpublished stories from American women mystery writers, each possessing a shrewd eye for human idiosyncrasy. Susan Dunlap sends a deceased woman to ``The Celestial Buffet''--after giving her one last glance at her body sprawled on the gloor: ``It could have stood to lose five pounds.'' A lonely woman ignores ``Storm Warnings'' in Nancy Pickard's tale when she helps set up a scam only to find herself its victim. In Jean Fiedler's ``The Snake Plant,'' a devious husband mounts a psychological attack on his ailing wife by exploiting her identification with the health of a plant given to her as a gift. During Sharyn McCrumb's ``The Luncheon,'' a ``meek and courteous'' woman makes wickedly humorous observations about her high-powered friends and, incidentally, plans her husband's murder. Series characters also appear; for example, Carolyn G. Hart's Laurel Darling Roethke attends a mystery weekend and uncovers a murder plot not listed on the program. (Feb.)