cover image Mystery Tour: A Crime Writers’ Association Anthology

Mystery Tour: A Crime Writers’ Association Anthology

Edited by Martin Edwards. Orenda (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (276p) ISBN 978-1-910633-92-2

Although not all of the 28 original short stories in this anthology reflect “the unifying theme of travel and intriguing destinations,” as genre expert Edwards asserts, the end product is still worthwhile. For example, Ann Cleeves’s delightfully vicious “The Queen of Mystery,” featuring an author known by that title at the Malice Domestic convention, works as a dark and twisted look at professional rivalries in the publishing business, but has little to do with the theme. Christine Poulson’s “Accounting for Murder,” the volume’s most original selection, tells its story through an accretion of receipts, such as one from a hardware store detailing a purchase of bleach and polythene sheeting. Maxim Jakubowski’s “Cruising for a Killing,” which makes clever use of cruise ships’ security procedures, is another highlight, as is Paul Charles’s “The Riddle of the Humming Bee,” an inverted locked room mystery in which it was apparently impossible for the prime suspect to have committed the murder. The diverse storytelling styles and takes on familiar genre tropes add up to an entertaining buffet for mystery fans. [em](June) [/em]