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Mystery Writers of America Presents The Mystery Box | [Brad Meltzer (editor)]

Mystery Writers of America Presents 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (325 )
5 star
 (54)
4 star
 (89)
3 star
 (108)
2 star
 (47)
1 star
 (27)
Overall
3.2 (288 )
5 star
 (46)
4 star
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3 star
 (97)
2 star
 (49)
1 star
 (24)
Story
3.5 (284 )
5 star
 (61)
4 star
 (97)
3 star
 (79)
2 star
 (31)
1 star
 (16)
Performance
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  •  
    Sharon United States 05-10-13
    Sharon United States 05-10-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    126
    113
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    FOLLOWING
    5
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Worth the Credit"

    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!

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip GRANT, AL, United States 05-09-14
    Phillip GRANT, AL, United States 05-09-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    106
    ratings
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    420
    52
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    4
    2
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    Story
    "Not much of a mystery in these stories"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Brad Meltzer (editor) again?

    Not one of these collections.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

    The narrators were okay, the stories just lacked teeth.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Mystery Writers of America Presents The Mystery Box?

    I would have cut the quantity of stories in half.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 08-16-14
    Linda PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 08-16-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    112
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    528
    69
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    22
    8
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    Performance
    Story
    "Odd collection"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heidi POCATELLO, ID, United States 05-05-14
    Heidi POCATELLO, ID, United States 05-05-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    7
    FOLLOWERS
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    18
    1
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    Story
    "A Mixed Box"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise 04-24-14
    Denise 04-24-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    9
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Missed the mark"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better choice of stories


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Didn't find a favorite. Honestly after the fourth story I gave up


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I liked the narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't pick a winner every time. Just not my cup of tea.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-21-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "T-E-D-I-U-M"
    What would have made Mystery Writers of America Presents The Mystery Box better?

    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.


    What could Brad Meltzer (editor) have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    See previous answer.


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

    Sure. The performances weren't terrible.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Several of the stories weren't bad.


    Any additional comments?

    Far and away the worst audio book I have ever heard. Avoid.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dlthompson 10-13-14
    dlthompson 10-13-14

    I love animals. I volunteer for a cat rescue group several days a week. I am an attorney, but am semi-retired.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    17
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    "Some stories didn't really have an ending."
    What disappointed you about Mystery Writers of America Presents The Mystery Box?

    I couldn't finish the book, but I made it about halfway through. A couple of the stories were good or very good, but some seemed to just stop without a conclusion. I thought I had listened pretty closely to the stories but all of a sudden another story was starting and I was lost. I went backward and listened again, but it was the same sort of non-ending.

    I don't usually listen to short stories and will hardly ever get an abridged version of a book, so maybe it's just not "my" genre. I want to have the ending fairly well explained. I'm not a dummy; I can understand implications, but I need more than these stories gave me.


    What could Brad Meltzer (editor) have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Picked different stories.


    What aspect of the narrators’s performance would you have changed?

    I had no problem with any of the narrators.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Out of the stories I listened to, I really enjoyed at least two, and pretty much liked another couple. But it wasn't enough to go on and listen to the rest.


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ellen 09-07-14
    ellen 09-07-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
    ratings
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    303
    87
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    3
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    Story
    "where is the mystery"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    make the stories mysteries instead of terrible short stories that are more psychological than any mystery


    Has Mystery Writers of America Presents The Mystery Box turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no I love a good mystery when there is a plot etc.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    the reader was good


    Any additional comments?

    don't waste your money on this buy a true mystery book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Eatonville, WA, United States 08-02-14
    John Eatonville, WA, United States 08-02-14 Member Since 2006
    ratings
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    51
    2
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    Story
    "Collection of short stories"
    What disappointed you about Mystery Writers of America Presents The Mystery Box?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lonnie Ducote Palm Springs, Ca 07-02-14
    Lonnie Ducote Palm Springs, Ca 07-02-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    59
    25
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    "Something for everyone"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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