cover image Year's Best Mystery and Suspense Stories 1991

Year's Best Mystery and Suspense Stories 1991

. Walker & Company, $19.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8027-3200-2

Among the 13 skillfully written tales collected by seasoned mystery editor and author Hoch ( The Shattered Raven ) are all five 1991 Edgar nominees. The winner, Lynne Barrett, scored with ``Elvis Lives,'' in which a reluctant and increasingly alcoholic impersonator of the King stumbles on a foolproof method of dissolving his contract. Series favorites include Ruth Rendell's Chief Inspector Reg Wexford, here puzzled by the behavior of a teenage girl who refuses to live with her mother and the mother's boyfriend (``An Unwanted Woman); and Kinsey Millhone, investigating the relationship between two women and $600,000 in ``A Poison That Leaves No Trace'' by Sue Grafton. Stanley Cohen's ``Hello! My Name Is Irving Wasserman'' intertwines comedy and tragedy when a couple discovers that the perfect rug they've rescued from a dumpster encloses a corpse. Julian Symons, Bill Pronzini and Donald Westlake also contributed to this 16th volume. ( Nov. )