Monday, March 22, 2010

The Best American Mystery Stories 2008

This is the 2008 version of this annual compilation of the best mystery stories of the year.  The series editor is Otto Penzler and each year has an individual editor.  The editor for 2008 is George Pelecanos.  This series has been running since 1997.

In the 2008 edition, both well-known names in mystery and suspense as well as those less familiar to the reader are featured.  Authors include James Lee Burke, Michael Connelly, Robert Ferrigno, Chuck Hogan, Rupert Holmes, Holly Goddard Jones, Peter Lasalle, Kyle Minor, Alice Munro, Thisbe Nissen,
Joyce Carol Oates, Nathan Oates, Jas. R. Petrin, Scott Phillips, Stephen Rhodes, S.J. Rozan, Hugh Sheehy, Elizabeth Strout, Melissa Vanbeck and Scott Wolven.

Every mystery reader can find a story represented here in the genre they like best.  Victorian mysteries, hard-core detectives, puzzlers, offbeat mysteries; all are here.  Elizabeth Strout's story will be recognized by those who later read her bestseller, Olive Kittridge, as it is a vignette from that book. 

My personal favorite was an offbeat mystery called Given Her History by Melissa Vanbeck.  It is an offbeat story of a girl touched by death and taken in by a quirky woman who treats her much better than her family ever did.  This book is recommended for lovers of short stories and mystery readers.

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