The Best American Series®
First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected — and most popular — of its kind.
The Best American Mystery Stories 2012 includes
Peter S. Beagle, Kathleen Ford, Mary Gaitskill, Lou Manfredo, Thomas McGuane,
Gina Paoli, T. Jefferson Parker, Kristine Kathryn Rusch,
Charles Todd, Daniel Woodrell, and others
The 20 entries in series editor Otto Penzler's 18th annual collection of crime stories impress with their quality, diversity, and almost complete absence of private detectives or policemen as main character. The many gems include "Almost Like Christmas," a recently discovered, heart-wrenching story by the late Joseph Heller, as well as selections from such well-known mystery writers as James Lee Burke ("Getting Across Jordan") and Megan Abbott ("My Heart Is Either Broken"). There are also strong offerings from mainstream authors, such as Russell Banks's "Former Marine," which is about an elderly bank robber and his sons, and Annie Proulx's "Rough Deeds," which reaches back to colonial times. Charlaine Harris displays her sly wit in "Small Kingdoms," in which a high school principal defends her turf, and Matthew Neill Null's "Gauley Season" takes readers wild river rafting in West Virginia, where not all dangers come from the water. Guest editor Lippman has chosen wisely.