This volume? Not so much. There were a handful of stories I thought were good, but for the most part? Meh.
A Grain of Salt - Sarah A. Hoyt
The Poet Gnawreate and the Taxman - Dave Freer
The Infernal Revenus Service - Laura Resnick
Mummy Knows Best - Esther M. Friesner
Genius Loci - Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Ah, Yehz - Alan Dean Foster
Gamma Ray versus Death - Carrie Vaughn
Museum Hauntings - Irene Radford
My Teras Have Been My Meat - Nina Kiriki Hoffman
The Perfect Man - Fran LaPlaca
Two All Beef Patties - Jay Lake
That Saturday - Devon Monk
Walking Fossil - Robert A. Hoyt
Night Shifted - Kate Paulk
Twelve Stepping in the Dark - Rebecca Lickiss
Gobble, Gobble, One of Us - Charles Edgar Quinn
Bump in the Night - Amanda S. Green
Separation Anxiety - S.M. Stirling
“A Grain of Salt”–the first story in the book–was one I did like. It reminded me of Liz Williams‘ Detective Inspector Chen stories, not just because it was Chinese in flavor, but the underworld was in many ways like Liz Williams’ hell.
Alan Dean Foster’s story “Ah, Yehz” was one that I particularly liked. Lots of the stories in this anthology had twists at the end, but for the most part that was the whole of the story–working up to the punchline in the end. But “Ah, Yehz” was interesting in and of itself, and for the brevity of the story, had some nice world building. Archie is caught stealing from a fountain in the cemetery by one of the ghosts. While trying to escape he meets an unusual fellow who is willing to help him.
Irene Radford’s “Museum Hauntings” was another story that was well done from start to finish. I liked the main characters, and the focus wasn’t on the twist at the end, but upon the development of the two characters. Cute and fun.
As always, I liked the story by Nina Kiriki Hoffman, “My Tears Have Been My Meat.” Sometimes dead isn’t always dead, and your friends and enemies are hard to tell.
I loved the idea of Jay Lake’s Unrapture in his story “Two All Beef Patties.” I’m generally not fond of zombies, but for a zombie story, this was quite good.
And… that was about it. Like I said, most of the stories were meh, and some I actually disliked, but if you come across any of the above in another anthology, I highly recommend them.
Published by DAW
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
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.
Published by Tyrus Books