cover image Uncertain Endings: The World's Greatest Unsolved Mystery Stories

Uncertain Endings: The World's Greatest Unsolved Mystery Stories

, . . Pegasus, $23.95 (301pp) ISBN 978-1-933648-16-3

Mystery maven Penzler offers a unique anthology of 19 classic mystery and puzzle stories whose appeal, paradoxically, derives from their ambiguous endings. Penzler complements the epitome of the unresolved riddle tale—Frank Stockton's "The Lady, or The Tiger?"—with the author's lesser known but similarly vexing "The Discourager of Hesitancy," a tale of a dangerously arranged marriage. The volume's highlights, however, come from the best known and least known authors—Ray Bradbury and Peter Godfrey. Bradbury's exceptional gifts of subtle suggestion and suspense are on full display in two tales of a serial killer plaguing a quiet Illinois community, "The Whole Town's Sleeping" and its enigmatic sequel, "At Midnight, in the Month of June." Godfrey, an undeservedly obscure South African writer, contributes the superb, psychologically twisted "The Lady and the Dragon," about a photographer overcome by a powerful obsession. Additional compelling conundrums come from such notables as Roald Dahl, Mark Twain, Stanley Ellin and Aldous Huxley. (Dec.)