Steve Hockensmith


Anthologies: Between the Dark and the Daylight: And 27 More of the Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year (2009), An Apple for the Creature (2012)





Between the Dark and the Daylight: And 27 More of the Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year (2009) edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Daniel M. Hoyt

I generally love mystery anthologies, but I had a hard time with this one.

First and foremost, the collection is full of unreliable narrators. I have absolutely nothing against unreliable narrators, and usually enjoy them, however, when you read story after story where the narrator is actually the killer, it quickly becomes unsurprising, and I wasn’t interested in reading all the various justifications the murderers and criminals gave for their actions.

Father's Day - Michael Connelly
Walking the Dog - Peter Robinson
Lucky - Charlaine Harris
A Sleep Not Unlike Death - Sean Chercover
The First Husband - Joyce Carol Oates
Between the Dark and the Daylight - Tom Picirilli
Cheer - Megan Abbot
Babs - Scott Phillips
Ms. Grimshanks Regrets - Nancy Pickard
Skinhead Central - T. Jefferson Parker
The Bookbinder's Apprentice - Martin Edwards
I/M Print - Jeremiah Healy
The Devil's Acre - Steve Hockensmith
The Instrument of their Desire - Patricia Abbot
Crossroads - Bill Crider
The Kim Vovack Effect - Gary Phillips
The Opposite of O - Martin Limon
Patriotic Gestures - Kristine Kathryn Rusch
The Quick Brown Fox - Robert S. Levinson
What Happened to Mary? - Bill Pronzini
Jonas and the Frail - Charles Ardai
The Pig Party - Doug Allyn
Perfect Gentleman - Brett Battles
Road Dogs - Norman Partridge
Rust - N.J. Ayres
Skin and Bones - David Edgerly Gates
La Vie En Rose - Dominique Mainard
Sack O' Woe - John Harvey

That said, there were some stories I enjoyed, but overall, I just wanted to finish the anthology so I could move onto something else.
Rating: 6/10

Published by Tyrus Books

An Apple for the Creature (2012) edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner

First, I hate this title. It grates on my nerves like nails down a chalkboard.

Luckily, the title is not reflective of most of the stories inside.


“An Introduction to Jewish Myth and Mysticism” by Steve Hockensmith was a very interesting story that I very much liked. A professor is traumatized when her abusive ex returns to town, so a friend decides to see what he can do to convince her ex to leave. I quite enjoyed this story.


All in all, it was a decent selection of short stories that made up for terrible title.
Rating: 7/10

Published by Ace