There’s nothing more mysterious than a locked box. Whether it’s a literal strongbox, an empty coffin, the inner workings of a scientist’s mind, or an underground prison cell, there are those who will use any means necessary to unlock the secrets of The Mystery Box.
With this anthology, best-selling author Brad Meltzer introduces 21 original stories from today’s most prominent mystery writers. In Laura Lippman’s "Waco 1982", a young reporter stuck with a seemingly mundane assignment on lost-and-found boxes unwittingly discovers a dark crime. In Joseph Finder’s "Heirloom", a scheming neighbor frightens the new couple on the block with an unnerving tale of buried treasure. In R. L. Stine’s "High Stakes", a man on his honeymoon gets drawn into a bizarre bet involving a coffin, a bet he may pay for with his life.
From the foothills of Mount Fuji to Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp, from a physics laboratory in wartime Leipzig to an unusual fitness club in Boca Raton, these sometimes terrifying, sometimes funny, and always suspenseful tales will keep you riveted. (The complete list of narrators includes Joe Barrett and Donald Corren.)
©2013 Mystery Writers of America, Inc. (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"The consistently high quality of the 22 selections will lead many to hope the MWA will sponsor more volumes in this vein." (Publishers Weekly, starred review of Mystery Writers of America Presents: The Prosecution Rests)
Some stories were surely better than others, but I still enjoyed the book. I especially liked Karen Slaughter, Joseph Finer, S. W. Hubbard and R.L. Stein. Glad I gave it a try!
I agree with the other reviewers that many of the stories are contrived to fit the box theme. Many are not mysteries. However, I think the theme is interesting, and the collection worth the credit. All are well written and narrated.
The 1st story is my favorite. The Most Private Detective is my next most favorite. A number of others were very interesting as well.
The last one, about the world record, is explicit and raunchy, so beware.
If the mysteries had any mystery behind them. The stories were okay, but maybe the focus should have been on fewer but more robust stories.
Not one of these collections.
The narrators were okay, the stories just lacked teeth.
I would have cut the quantity of stories in half.
It's hard to rate a mixed bag of stories, since some of them will likely be more to one's liking than others. Such is the case with this book.
Some of the stories are delightfully clever with happy, triumphant endings. Some of them are humorous, almost like long jokes with unexpected punchlines. Some of them are deeply haunting and socially insightful, and some of them stick with you because they are horrible and ugly, like skunk stink. You wish you could scrub them out of your brain, but you will never be able to. Alas, these are the risks we take when we read new authors.
Overall, will you like this book? Parts of it. If you're a cozy mystery fan, this book is probably not for you. These mysteries are not cozy. If you're a noir-fan, you'll like this a bit more. If you're up for a fair bit of mind-twisting, then plunge right in.
Content warning for those who care: Various stories in this book contain extreme profanity, adult content, and troubling themes.
Better choice of stories
Didn't find a favorite. Honestly after the fourth story I gave up
I liked the narrator.
I can't pick a winner every time. Just not my cup of tea.
Maybe try including more actual mysteries, like the title suggests. It sees like there were several titles that were suspenseful and engaging, bookending a bunch of what could only be described as filler.
See previous answer.
Sure. The performances weren't terrible.
Several of the stories weren't bad.
Far and away the worst audio book I have ever heard. Avoid.
I had hoped that this would be a story that would have been continued from one author to the next. Some of the short stories were good and some weren't that good. The good ones didn't go long enough to establish a good story line.
With a huge number of short mysteries there is bound to be something in here for everyone. I admit some of them were a miss for me, but many of them were really great and took the idea and ran with it.
I enjoy a good mystery story but for some reason I did not care for these stories just not my taste for mystery I guess.
I couldn't get through the book. I found one story bearable but really disliked the book as a whole. Not worth the price of purchase. Stories were vastly different and the one characteristic that was supposed to follow through all the stories was not really there.
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