“With so many great authors contributing to this fiction collection . . . it doesn’t take detecting skills to discover the gem. And every story dazzles . . . These stories, in prose both elegant and compelling, get to the heart of why people do what they do.” — USA Today
The Best American Mystery Stories 2014 will be selected by “writing powerhouse” (USA Today) Laura Lippman. With her popular Tess Monaghan series and her New York Times best-selling standalone novels, Lippman has greatly expanded the boundaries of modern mystery fiction and psychological suspense.
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.