Overview: 2013 had quite a few mysteries printed. Many of these were printed as short stories. Mr. Penzler and Ms. Scottoline have collected twenty of these stories in this collection. So, how did they do?
Story Telling: This is another short story anthology. Yes, they are mysteries. As usual, I’ll be reviewing each story separately.
Tom Barlow’s Smothered and Covered
Overview: After a young girl shows up at an all night cafe, and subsequently ends up dead, regular Tim, and waitress Sandy are haunted by their own loss. So they try to come to terms with the case.
Conclusion: This was an interesting story, but not a pure mystery in my opinion.
Michael Connelly’s A Fine Mist of Blood
Overview: There are two killings, quite a few years apart, with only one similarity. A single witness to both crimes. Harry has one case: a Ponzi scheme leader murdered before the trial ended. And Jerry Edgar’s has the second: an admitted pedophile due for his day in court. Is the single witness a coincidence, or something more sinister?
Conclusion: It’s been a while since I’ve read Bosch. It was good to catch him again.
O’Neil de Noux’s Misprision of Felony
Overview: Officers Savary and Kyntyre are seeking the murderer of an old grocery store owner. All they have is a video of the crime, and a whole street that miraculously didn’t see nor hear anything about it. Just another day in New Orleans, right?
Conclusion: It’s an interesting idea, and a well written story. I liked it.
Eileen Dryer’s The Sailor in the Picture
Overview: What happens when a Baby man is less than pleased over his wife’s choices while he was at war? This story gives an interesting idea.
Conclusion: This was a good story. I enjoyed it immensely.
David Edgerley Gates’ The Devil to Pay
Overview: There’s a missing container from Kennedy Airport. Can the police find it, before the contents go missing?
Conclusion: This is another noir-esque piece. It’s not a favorite.
Clark Howard’s The Street Ends at the Cemetery
Overview: Cory Evans has made the biggest mistake of his career. He gave a ride to a woman who missed her bus. Now, his boss and an F.B.I. agent are blackmailing him.
Conclusion: I didn’t care for this one at all.
Andre Kocsis’ Crossing
Overview: Sierra has a little dilemma. He is almost out of pot, and won’t have many opportunities to get any more. Good thing Owen has a job lined up for him.
Conclusion: This was an interesting idea. Your enjoyment mileage may vary.
Kevin Leahy’s Remora, IL
Overview: What happens when a manufacturing town loses their plant? They gain a new title as a prison town.
Conclusion: This is more of a slice of life story. The only description of a mystery here is the setting of a prison.
Nick Mamatis’ Thy Shiny Car in the Night
Overview: Peter has lived for the longest time knowing that his father is the head of “waste” management. He is also attempting to succeed as a writer.
Conclusion: This is another noir fic. But mostly it’s a slice of life story.
Emily St. John Mandell’s Drifter
Overview: Zoe lost her husband three years ago. In her latest country, she is offered a delivery job. What could go wrong?
Conclusion: What is it with noir stories? There never seems to be any decent folk in them.
Dennis McFadden’s The Ring of Kerry
Overview: A young woman has quite the tale to tell. After all it isn’t everyday that you hear of an expensive ring being buried with the girl’s grandmother.
Conclusion: Didn’t that work out so well. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch.
Micah Nathan’s Quarry
Overview: Henry and his little brother Sam are working the farm while their father is out. Finding the man in the woods wasn’t part of their plans.
To be continued….