June 2, 2019

Klinger, Leslie S., editor. IN THE SHADOW OF AGATHA CHRISTIE: Classic Crime Fiction by Forgotten Female Writers 1850-1917. Pegasus Books. February '19. $15.95. "Before Agatha Christie became the world's Queen of Crime, she stood on the talented shoulders of the female crime authors who came before her. This splendid new anthology by Leslie S. Klinger brings these exceptional writers out of Christie's shadow and back into the spotlight they deserve. Agatha Christie is undoubtedly the world's best-selling mystery author, hailed as the 'Queen of Crime,' with worldwide sales in the billions. Christie burst onto the literary scene in 1920, with The Mysterious Affair at Styles; her last novel was published in 1976, a career longer than even Conan Doyle's forty-year span. The truth is that it was due to the success of writers like Anna Katherine Green in Americ, L.T. Meade, C.L. Pirkis, the Baroness Orczy, and Elizabeth Corbett in England, and Mary Fortune in Australia that the doors were finally opened for women crime-writers. Authors who followed them, such as Patricia Wentworth, Dorothy Sayers, and, of course, Agatha Christie would not have thrived without the bold, fearless work of their predecessors - and the genre would be much poorer for their absence. So while Agatha Christie may still reign supreme, it is important to remember that she did not ascend that throne except on the shoulders of the women who came before her - and inspired her - and who are now removed from her shadow once and for all by this superb new anthology by Leslie S. Klinger. Featuring: Mary Fortune, Harriet Prescott Spofford, Ellen Wood, Elizabeth Corbett, C.L. Pirkis, Geraldine Bonner, Ellen Glasgow, L.T. Meade, Baroness Orczy, Augusta Grober, M.E. Graddon, Anna Katherine Green, Carolyn Wells, and Susan Glashell."

Mystery Writers Of America. ODD PARTNERS. Ballantine Books. April '19. $28.00. "Unlikely pairs join forces to crack a slew of intriguing cases in an anthology edited by New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry, featuring original stories by Jacqueline Winspear, Jeffery Deaver, Allison Brennan, Charles Todd, and many more, including Perry herself. Throughout the annals of fiction, there have been many celebrated detective teams: Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Nick and Nora Charles. Hercule Poirot and Arthur Hastings. Thomas and Charlotte Pitt. That last pair is the creation of beloved mystery writer Anne Perry, who, as the editor ofODD PARTNERS and in conjunction with Mystery Writers of America, has enlisted some of today's best mystery writers to craft all-new stories about unlikely duos who join forces - sometimes unwillingly - to solve beguiling whodunits. From Perry's own entry, in which an English sergeant and his German counterpart set out to find a missing soldier during World War I, to a psychological tale of an airplane passenger who wakes up unsure of who he is and must enlist his fellow passengers to help him remember, to a historical mystery about a misguided witch-hunt and the unlikely couple that brings it down, each story deals in the wonderful complexities of human interactions. And not just human interactions: Honey bees avenge the death of their beekeeper, a wandering cat brings home clues to a murder, and a gray wolf and a fly fisherman in the Minnesota woods try to protect their land from a brash billionaire. Featuring work by New York Times bestselling authors, Edgar Award winners, and up-and-coming members of the Mystery Writers of America, these tales of friends, enemies, and pairs who lie somewhere in the middle will satisfy every type of mystery reader. With each author's signature brand of suspense, these stories give new meaning to the word 'teamwork.' Featuring stories by: Ace Atkins, Allison Brennan, Shelley Costa, Jeffery Deaver, Robert Dugoni, William Frank, Georgia Jeffries, Lou Kemp, William Kent Krueger, Joe R. Lansdale, Lisa Morton, Claire Ortalda, Anne Perry, Adele Polomski,Stephen Ross, Mark Thielman, Charles Todd, Jacqueline Winspear, and Amanda Witt."

Penzler, Otto, editor. BIBLIOMYSTERIES: Stories of Crime in the World of Books and Bookstores. Pegasus Books. August '18. $16.95. "Specially commissioned by the Mysterious Bookshop, the 'biblio-mysteries' in this unique collection feature original stories by the genre's most distinguished authors: Ken Bruen, Reed Farrel Coleman, Loren D. Estleman, Nelson DeMille, Anne Perry, Jeffery Deaver, C. J. Box, Thomas H. Cook, Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, and Laura Lippman. If you open your dictionary, you will discover that there is no such word as 'bibliomystery.' However, most mystery readers know that the word refers to a mystery story that involves the world of books: a bookshop, a rare volume, a library, a collector, or a bookseller. Here you will discover Sigmund Freud dealing with an unwelcome visitor; Columbo confronting a murderous bookseller; a Mexican cartel kingpin with a fatal weakness for rare books; and deadly secrets deep in the London Library; plus books with hidden messages, beguiling booksellers, crafty collectors, and a magical library that is guaranteed to enchant you. The stories have been published in seven languages... Who knew literature could be so lethal!"

Tursten, Helene. Translated by Marlaine Delargy. AN ELDERLY LADY IS UP TO NO GOOD. Soho Crime. November '18. $12.99. Engaging, funny short stories by the author of the Irene Huss investigations series. At the age of eighty-eight, Maud lives alone in her family's large apartment in Guthenburg, Sweden rent free thanks to a old contract signed by her family. She has no family anymore and no friends, but that's fine with her - she'd rather be alone. She spends her time traveling and enjoys surfing the web. She has no qualms about dispensing justice as she sees it, but when a body is found in her apartment she may find herself a murder suspect.

© 1996-2019 Bill Palmer