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Archive for the ‘Ben Winters’ Category

I was between books. I’d just finished one and had a week to go beforeManhattanMayhem I started those books I purposely set aside for vacation. I needed a filler. A short story book was just the answer. I could switch around, not read them all and not feel any the worse. I knew Manhattan Mayhem, edited by Mary Higgins Clark, had stories by a few authors I like, primarily Thomas H. Cook, so I thought I’d give it a try. What did I have to lose?

Well, I would have lost a lot because it is totally enjoyable…a little unpublicized gem. Manhattan Mayhem was published to commemorate the Mystery Writers of America’s 70th anniversary. The hazy photo of the Empire State Building on the cover portends what you’ll find inside. Each story takes place in a different section of Manhattan-Sutton Place, the upper East Side, the Flatiron District and Central Park to name a few. At the beginning of each story is a photo of some area landmark and a small map for those of us not familiar with Manhattan’s various neighborhoods to identify where the action takes place.

The authors include Mary Higgins Clark, Thomas H. Cook, Jeffrey Deaver, Julie Hyzy as well as authors I hadn’t heard of before reading the book. The always ethereal writing of Cook is a tad less so in his story Damage Control, but the mystery is present in the misinterpretation (or is it a misinterpretation) of actions and words. It can drive a man crazy. The take off on the play Death Trap in Trapped by Ben Winters is just as suspenseful as the play. The remake of Cinderella in Margaret Maron’s The Red Headed Stepchild is, while you know the ending, totally amusing. I could go on, but I’m sure you’d rather read the stories.

I think my favorite thought must be S. J. Rozan’s Chin Yong-Yun Makes a Shiddach which only goes to show that mothers are mothers regardless of their ethnic origin.

There is a mystery for every type of mystery lover in Manhattan Mayhem.

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