cover image Year's Best Mystery and Suspense Stories, 1989

Year's Best Mystery and Suspense Stories, 1989

. Walker & Company, $18.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8027-1097-0

Hoch's 14th anthology of crime fiction offers variety in 12 excellent entries, the five about well-known series private eyes marking Raymond Chandler's centennial. Each tale, including Hoch's own ``The Spy and the Guy Fawkes Bombing,'' is affecting in a special way. Newcomer Bill Crenshaw's eerie ``Flicks'' won the MWA Edgar, although some readers may find it too bloody and unbelievable. On the other hand, no one will doubt or forget ``Bridey's Caller'' by Judith O'Neill, an MWA nominee. The nameless narrator's thoughts go back 40 years, to a summer of intolerable heat when she visited her grandparents in Kansas. With her cousin Nellie, the girl bought sodas from Bridey, the neighbor who kept the drinks in an ice-filled trough at her house. What the 10-year-old girl saw there one day, and why she never mentioned it to Bridey or anyone, is revealed as this beautifully writ ten, quiet story comes to a heartbreaking close. Appendixes brings fans up to date on trends in the genre. (Dec.)