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Publisher's Summary

All you need to know about this great collection of the best mystery stories from the past century are the names of the great authors inside: Robert Bernard, Robert Bloch, Lawrence Block, Anthony Boucher, Frederic Brown, James M. Cain, Max Allan Collins, Jeffery Deaver, Stanley Ellin, Harlan Ellison, Erle Stanley Gardner, Ed Gorman, Anna Katharine Green, Jeremiah Healy, Patricia Highsmith, Reginald Hill, Tony Hillerman, Evan Hunter, Stephen King, John Lutz, John D. MacDonald, Ross MacDonald, Michael Malone, Steve Martini, Sharyn McCrumb, Margaret Millar, Marcia Muller, Sara Paretsky, Bill Pronzini, Ellery Queen, Ruth Rendell, Lisa Scottoline, Georges Simenon, Mickey Spillane, Rex Stout, Janwillem van de Wetering, Donald E. Westlake. See? One or more of those names rang a bell, signaling that you must read this book.
(P)2002 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"These 36 stories, originally published in the likes of Black Mask and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, will delight mystery lovers." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Tim
  • Fremont, NE, United States
  • 01-09-05

Some good stories - but not the entire book

Before commenting on the book itself, it is important to note that this is not the entire unabridged book. This is not Audible.com's fault, but rather the fact that the original publisher actually only produced the first half of the book. It is rather odd, because the stories go exactly in order as the hardcover, but stop about halfway.

Having said that, let me move on to the stories themselves. Like most collections, there is some good, some not so great, and a lot in the middle. There are a couple of great gems in here however - Jeffrey Deaver's "The Weekender" was so good it was almost worth buying the book for!! Although I had read "Quitter's Inc." by Stephen King before, it is an absolutely fantastic short story. "Killing Bernstein" was also interesting.

I should also clarify that many (but not all) of these stories fall into the "detective" type of stories. I was expecting a little more quirkiness(similar to Stephen King's "non-supernatural" type of stories), but many were just short crime stories.

If you've never read "Quitter's Inc" or "The Weekender" or if you like detective stories, you'll probably enjoy this one.



66 of 69 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Adams
  • Ogdensburg, NY, United States
  • 06-27-09

Terrible

Deaver can surely write them, but based on this compilation, he can't pick them. These stories were anything but suspenseful, and many of them were downright boring. As an example, one story was about ex cops hired to confiscate knock off merchandise from street vendors and the moral anguish this causes one of them; where's the suspense in that? Many of the stories abruptly end,leaving the reader to ask "what was the point of that?". I'd avoid this one.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Wadie
  • Santa Ana, CA, United States
  • 09-21-08

Not Mystery?

If you read the Mystery Magazines published under the names of Ellery Queen or Alfred Hitchcock few if any of these name will be a surprise. All excellent stories. The surprise was the quality of the narration. Two stories I already knew as good but skipped because the narrators were lousy. Over all, I was happy though.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful