From Publishers Weekly
The Mystery Writers of America presents an all-original anthology sure to appeal to Twilight fans with an interest in crime. While vampires are well represented among the 20 selections, most notably Parnell Hall’s darkly humorous Death of a Vampire, bestseller Harris ensures that werewolves, ghosts, and magicians also get their due. Harley Jane Kozak does a superb job of integrating a ghost into a contemporary setting in Madeeda, in which an expectant mother is concerned over her two-year-old twins’ visions of a bad witch. A phantom ship figures in Lou Kemp’s In Memory of the Sibylline, a highly effective horror story set in the 19th century. Even Mike Hammer gets into X-Files mode in Max Allan Collins’s and Mickey Spillane’s Grave Matter, which successfully introduces a supernatural element into the case of a series of mysterious deaths in the ironically named town of Hopeful, N.Y. Other contributors include William Kent Krueger, Margaret Maron, and Carolyn Hart. (Apr.)
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Colbert, Curt (Editor)
Jun 2009. 300 p. Akashic, paperback, $15.95. (9781933354804).
Is Seattle too “nice” for noir? It is home to the original Skid Road, the Green River Killer, and the second
most popular suicide bridge in the nation and yet perhaps too laid-back and politically correct to embrace
the genre’s viciousness and depravity. Of the many varied shades of local color on display in this mixed
but worthwhile collection, only a few have the inky chiaroscuro found in Akashic noir entries from
Brooklyn or Detroit, among them Stephan Magcosta’s nightmarish tale of a bad encounter between an
Iraqi war widow and a cabdriver and Lou Kemp’s twisted, gothic Sherlockian pastiche. Other standouts
include Simon Wood’s taut tale of a bar brawler recruited into a life-changing club, Robert Lopresti’s
demented dialogue between homeless murder witnesses, Curt Colbert’s clipped Jake Rossiter detective
yarn (crossing O. Henry with Hammett), and Skye Moody’s memorable funhouse tale of embittered
showbiz dwarfs and hothouse flowers that could be Nathaniel West’s Day of the Locust as told by Tom
Robbins. Fourteen original stories that may well be of interest beyond the Northwest.
— David Wright