cover image Solved


. Carroll & Graf Publishers, $21.95 (295pp) ISBN 978-0-88184-689-8

This ingenious collection presents 16 imaginative stories that speculatively ``solve'' unsolved crimes, shady deaths or historical enigmas. In ``The Intransigents,'' Barry Malzberg spins a chilling scenario of the skulduggery behind the assassination of JFK. In ``Closing the Doors,'' Rick Hautala uncannily convinces the reader that rock star Jim Morrison is actually the first-person narrator divulging the mystery-shrouded circumstances of his faked death. Some pieces are deeply satisfying, like Matthew Costello's ``Shadow,'' about a search for Nazi mass murderer Martin Bormann; others are simply foolish, like ``Diesel Dream,'' Alan Dean Foster's fantasy about Marilyn Monroe's demise. Selections pry into the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, the identity of Jack the Ripper, the explosion of the Challenger spacecraft, Watergate, penetration of British intelligence by Soviet spies and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Imparting vicarious thrills, these entertaining tales enter deeply into the real-world events they attempt to unriddle. Contributors include John Lutz, William DeAndrea, Barbara Paul and Sean Flannery. (Nov.)