cover image Year's Best Mystery and Suspense Stories, 1990

Year's Best Mystery and Suspense Stories, 1990

. Walker & Company, $18.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8027-1139-7

The 15th annual collection from Hoch has four gems: Brendan DuBois's ``Fire Burning Bright,'' about rural arson, is sadly chilling; Ruth Graviros's ``Ted Bundy's Father'' is a wrenching, plausible what-if with a great final twist; James Powell's ``A Dirge For Clownstown'' (winner of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Readers Award) is a delicious procedural set in a totally logical city of circus clowns; Donald E. Westlake's Edgar-winning ``Too Many Crooks'' sets his unlucky thief Dortmunder in the middle of a hostage situation that is, of course, hilarious--and this time Dortmunder makes some money. There is one dud, Elizabeth's Peters's ``The Locked Tomb Mystery'' (Egyptologists may demur); but on the whole the remaining nine stories are nicely done. With Hoch's Year's Best list of mystery and suspense novels, bibliography, awards, necrology and honor roll, this volume is a must for mystery fans. (Nov.)