January 15, 2020
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. THE BIG BOOK OF REEL MURDERS: Stories that Inspired Great Crime Films. Vintage Crime/Black Lizard. November '19. $28.95. "Edgar Award-winning editor Otto Penzler's new anthology rolls out the red carpet for the stories that Hollywood is made of... Lights! Camera! Action! The latest book in the Big Book series takes us behind the curtain to uncover the stories that became some of the greatest films of the silver screen. There's the W. Somerset Maugham short story that inspired Hitchcock's Secret Agent; Robert Louis Stevenson's horrifying tale that was later turned into the iconic movie The Body Snatcher, starring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff; Sir Ian Fleming's 'From a View to a Kill,' later one of Roger Moore's greatest Bond films; and 'Cyclists' Raid,' the short story that formed the basis for the legendary Brando film The Wild One. Otto Penzler delivers the director's cut on these classic short stories and the films they gave rise to. So grab your Sno-Caps and a jumbo box of popcorn and curl up with these cinematic tales from the likes of Agatha Christie, Dennis Lehane, Joyce Carol Oates, Dashiell Hammett, O. Henry, Edgar Allan Poe, and Arthur Conan Doyle."
Tanner, Susan Y., editor. YEAR-ROUND TROUBLE: 14 Original Cozy Holiday Mysteries. KaliOka Press. January '20. $16.99. "14 talented mystery authors team up with Trouble, the black cat detective, to take a whirlwind tour of mystery locales - and holidays - across the country and the calendar. In this unique collection of original stories, the black cat shows his charm and sass as he works with cozy sleuths you know and love! From facing down the spirits of Halloween with a Maine Coon Cat named Diesel in Mississippi to Christmas in Taos, Trouble is on the prowl for arch criminals, and he's never needed the skills he learned from watching Benedict Cumberbatch on the telly as Sherlock Holmes more. Join the wise-cracking cat and a host of 'biped' sleuths for a romp across the mystery map - where he works with only the finest amateur sleuths to bring justice. Authors are Ritter Ames, Rebecca Barrett, Susan Boles, Pamela Sue DuMond, Caroline Fardig, Carolyn Haines, Miranda James, Ava Mallory, Claire Matturro, Joanne Pence, Larissa Reinhart, Connie Shelton, Susan Y. Tanner, Jaden Terrell."
© 1996-2020 Bill Palmer