Cover image for The best American mystery stories, 2000
The best American mystery stories, 2000
Westlake, Donald E.
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.
Physical Description:
xvii, 489 pages ; 22 cm
Miracles! Happen! / Doug Allyn -- Ghosts / David Beaty -- Spring rite / Tom Berdine -- Annie's dream / Bentley Dadmun -- Motel 66 / Barbara D'Amato -- Jumping with Jim / Geary Danihy -- Triangle / Jeffery Deaver -- The instruments of peace / Edward Falco -- Grit / Tom Franklin -- Compass Rose / David Edgerley Gates -- The defenestration of Aba Sid / Robert Girardi -- The island in the river / Chad Holley -- ICU / Edward Lee -- Running out of dog/ Dennis Lehane -- Sheep / Thomas H. McNeely -- Dead rock singer / Martha Moffett -- Wrong numbers / Josh Pryor -- The guilty party / Shel Silverstein -- Forgetting the girl / Peter Moore Smith -- Water dog god / Brad Watson.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS648.D4 B46 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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After just three years, THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES series is already a great success, earning raves from such diverse sources as Joyce Carol Oates, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, and ELLERY QUEEN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE. Little wonder, given the power of the Best American brand, the talent of the series editor, Otto Penzler, and the high profile of the guest editors. Now, with the legendary mystery writer Donald E. Westlake as guest editor, the 2000 edition is sure to boost the series' popularity even more. From Tfty exceptional stories chosen by Penzler, Westlake has selected the twenty best, including stories by Tom Franklin, Jeffery Deaver, Shel Silverstein, and Dennis Lehane, for a collection that will delight mystery buffs and casual readers alike.

Author Notes

OTTO PENZLER is a renowned mystery editor, publisher, columnist, and owner of New York's The Mysterious Bookshop, the oldest and largest bookstore solely dedicated to mystery fiction. He has edited more than fifty crime-fiction anthologies.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Twenty stories by American and Canadian mystery writers, culled from more than 1,100 entries, make up the fourth entry in this series. Except for the late Shel Silverstein, who submitted the wickedly clever "The Guilty Party" for this edition, many of the writers are little or moderately well known, probably giving more credibility to the selection process. Series editor Penzler provides a foreword that traces the evolution of the mystery story from puzzles to private eye stories to the current emphasis on stories of character. Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Donald Westlake's introduction does more fine riffs on the similarities between jazz and the mystery short story. A worthwhile assemblage of contemporary crime fiction. "Contributor's Notes" at the end give bios and authors' takes on writing mysteries. --Connie Fletcher

Publisher's Weekly Review

Guest editor Westlake has done an outstanding job selecting 20 stories published in 1999 for this stellar anthology, now in its fourth year, which should continue to garner big sales. In his introduction he wonders at the form's durability. The financial rewards are small, and these days short stories won't make a literary reputation. Why then do its practitioners persist? As with jazz, that other great American contribution to world art, they engage in it "primarily for the love of doing it," asserts Westlake. In contrast to the novel, where digressions and red herrings are the norm, unity of effect is all, as exemplified by the inventor of the detective story, Edgar Allan PoeÄand by the contemporary writers represented in this volume. The names here range from the late Shel Silverstein, bestselling children's book author, whose rollicking tale, "The Guilty Party," stands as a fitting swan song for this versatile talent, to Thomas H. McNeely, whose quietly chilling psychological study, "Sheep," is his first published work of fiction. Robert Girardi's novella, "The Defenestration of Aba Sid," works both as a tale of comic absurdity and as an anti-Grisham lawyer story. In a foreword, series editor Otto Penzler comments on how mysteries have evolved in both style and content. Over the life of the genre, stories have become more complex, more textured. When Penzler says "be prepared for the unexpected, and be ready for some of the best prose being written today," he's not overstating the case. This title will enjoy brisk library sales but is also poised to benefit from the continued general-reader interest in matters mysterious. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Donald E. WestlakeDoug AllynDavid BeatyTom BerdineBentley DadmunBarbara D'AmatoGeary DanihyJeffery DeaverEdward FalcoTom FranklinDavid Edgerley GatesRobert GirardiChad HolleyEdward LeeDennis LehaneThomas H. McNeelyMartha MoffettJosh PryorShel SilversteinPeter Moore SmithBrad Watson
Forewordp. ix
Introductionp. xiii
Miracles! Happen!p. 1
Ghostsp. 29
Spring Ritep. 49
Annie's Dreamp. 74
Motel 66p. 117
Jumping with Jimp. 131
Trianglep. 147
The Instruments of Peacep. 164
Gritp. 183
Compass Rosep. 205
The Defenestration of Aba Sidp. 229
The Island in the Riverp. 308
ICUp. 319
Running Out of Dogp. 333
Sheepp. 366
Dead Rock Singerp. 388
Wrong Numbersp. 423
The Guilty Partyp. 444
Forgetting the Girlp. 453
Water Dog Godp. 468
Contributors' Notesp. 479
Other Distinguished Mystery Stories of 1999p. 488