This is a terrific book to pick up and put down in spare minutes since the stories are short but surprising mysteries.
A fun collection of short stories by some of today's top mystery writers: Nancy Pickard, Taylor McCafferty, Deborah Adams, Susan and Bill Albert, Marilyn Wallace, Dorothy Cannell, Camilla T. Crespi, Sharyn McCrumb, L.B. Greenwood, Wendy Hornsby, D.R. Meredith, Marlys Millhiser and Joan Hess.
The second very solid volume in this series of mystery short stories offers ample evidence that a skillful writer can deliver a worthwhile read in pared-down prose. Amanda Cross is in fine form as she describes an unpleasant panel discussion between a macho crime writer and a genteel romantic mystery writer that ends in violence: someone guns down the sweet old lady moderating the melee. Robert Barnard confirms pet owners' suspicions that we're only here to amuse our animals when he recounts a murder from the point of view of the one uninvolved witness: a dog. Ed Gorman's engaging sleuth, a policewoman in 1890 Cedar Rapids, uses logic to discover the invisible hand behind the sudden death of an evangelical minister's wife. When, in a story by M. D. Lake, a counselor is murdered at summer camp, it is no mystery to a young girl who, while living with her battling parents, has honed her abilities to notice the details of her environment and the nuances of adult behavior. Such a variety of styles and settings offers an apt reminder of the vitality of this genre.