cover image The Best American Mystery Stories 2006

The Best American Mystery Stories 2006

, . . Houghton Mifflin, $28 (358pp) ISBN 978-0-618-51747-3

Quality writing from some of the biggest names in the genre marks the 10th collection in this series, though Turow concedes in the introduction that the 21 stories are more crime tales than mysteries. Walter Mosley contributes the collection's standout, "Karma," a classic noir exercise that brings the sweat and despair of the characters to life. Jeffery Deaver's "Born Bad" and Jane Haddam's "Edelweiss" are also solid entries, with nifty plot twists reminiscent of the TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents and the short stories of Roald Dahl. A number of stories share the same hook, though, which lessens the impact, and the editor's omission of even one fair-play whodunit will disappoint some readers. Series editor Otto Penzler provides his usual cogent, candid foreword. (Oct.)