The Best American Mystery Stories 4

The Best American Mystery Stories 4

by Michael Connelly & Otto Penzler

Book in the Best American Mystery Stories
published 2004

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‘The short story deals with issues and themes large and small. But it does it succinctly and quickly. The short story is a car for the short track. Put the top down and power into the curves.’ From the introduction by Michael Connelly This year’s installment boasts pulse-quickening stories from all reaches of the genre, selected by the one and only Michael Connelly. His choices include the Prohibition-era tale of a scorned lover’s revenge, a bar owner’s gutsy attempt to outwit the mob and a tale of murder by psychology.This edition features mystery favorites Elmore Leonard, Walter Mosley, James Crumley and Joyce Carol Oates as well as talented up-and-comers, for a diverse collection sure to thrill all readers.

Dennis Lehane opens ‘Until Gwen’ in a stolen Dodge Neon with an 8-ball of coke in the glove compartment and a hooker named Mandy in the back seat and accelerates from there, Louise Erdrich’s ‘Disaster Stamps of Pluto’ leads us into a nearly extinct North Dakota town where the dead outnumber the living, Daniel Handler poses a classic ‘locked room’ mystery in ‘Delmonico’ while Joseph Raiche’s ‘One Mississippi’ takes a hellish subway journey and David Rachel’s ‘The Last Man I Killed’ follows a path that winds from the Eastern Front in 1945 to a midwestern state university twenty years later.

Showcasing the very best of American crime writing, here are twenty stand-out short stories notable for their dark tone, frequent plot twists, and – above all – their outright entertainment value.

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