The Best American Mystery Stories 2007

Carl Hiaasen, Editor . Houghton Mifflin $28 (326p) ISBN 978-0-618-81263-9 ISBN 978-0-618-81265-3

The 11th volume in this consistently high-quality series features such household names as Joyce Carol Oates and Lawrence Block, but for the most part it’s the lesser lights who shine brightest with superb short crime stories that evoke human passions and bring characters to life with a few well-chosen phrases or images. As series editor Otto Penzler again cautions in his foreword, few of the stories revolve on “whodunit,” the “why” having become more important in contemporary crime fiction. One of the best of the 20 selections is Chris Adrian’s “Stab,” a chilling tale of childish cruelty, as witnessed by an autistic child. Block himself weighs in with the masterful “Keller’s Double Dribble,” a story of double crosses, white-collar crime and basketball. Another standout is Brent Spencer’s “The True History,” a gripping account of brutality and revenge set during the Texas War of Independence. Cozy and Agatha Christie fans won’t find much to suit their particular tastes, but lovers of good writing should be delighted. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/10/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 326 pages - 978-0-618-81263-9
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