Hemning Sternberg (moonshadow) wrote in bookish,
Hemning Sternberg

Greatest Hits, edited by Robert Randisi, mystery recs?

I have been recently desiring to expand my mystery horizons. I thought that reading a few anthologies would be a good way to find new authors. Funny Bones didn't do it for me at all. However, I also grabbed a second anthology and that turned out quite well. The anthology is Greatest Hits: Original Stories of Assassins, Hit Men, and Hired Guns, edited by Robert J. Randisi. For whatever reason, I like stories about people that kill people for money.

The anthology opens with a reprint from one of Lawrence Block's famous John Keller books. Oh, those books are a riot. I just love them, and there is a new one out this summer (Hit and Run). My favorite new stories in the volume were "Snow, Snow, Snow" by John Harvey, "Upon My Soul" by Robert Randisi (it's so nice when the inevitable editor's story is a good one), "Doctor Sullivan's Library" by Christine Matthews, and "Retrospective" by Kevin Wignall. There were also a number of stories that were quite good but too black-humor or just plain dark for my taste. However, it was a very solid anthology and I'd recommend it to fans of assassins or mystery. Three stars.

While we're on the topic - would any of you especially recommend any mysteries? Some mysteries I like include the Gaslight series by Victoria Thompson, the Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourne, the non-Sookie books by Charlaine Harris, and the funny ones by Lawrence Block (Evan Tanner, Bernie Rhodenbarr for the first half-dozen books, John Keller). I also very much enjoyed Jesse Kellerman's new mystery The Genius.

Some mysteries I haven't liked so much include The Rosewood Casket by Sharryn McCrumb, Death on Demand by Carolyn Hart, and the forensic anthropology series by Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwall.

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