Rosemary Edghill

Books: Fantasy | Short Stories


Highwaymen: Robbers and Rogues (1997), Assassin Fantastic (2001), Murder by Magic (2004), Maiden, Matron, Crone (2005)

Assassin Fantastic (2001) edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Alexander Potter

I know that Martin Greenberg puts together good anthologies, however there's something about the "Fantastic" that gets tacked onto the end of each anthology theme title that puts me off for some reason. However, I've always been fond of Assassin characters, so I picked up the book.

Published by DAW

Rating: 7/10

Highwaymen: Robbers and Rogues (1997) edited by Jennifer Roberson

Published by DAW

Murder by Magic (2004) edited by Rosemary Edghill

I love fantasy, and I love mysteries, so I figured that this should be a great short story collection. After all, I've read some excellent fantasy mysteries recently, such as those written by Charlaine Harris and Simon R. Green. This collection, however, was a mixed bag. For one thing, it look me about three months to read. I'd zip through a couple of stories, and then get bogged down in a story that took days to read, and then I set it aside for something else that looked more interesting.

The problem with several of the stories seemed to be that the ability to write good fantasy does not mean the ability to write good fantasy, and vice versa.

But there are some excellent stories in this collection.

My favorite story was Laura Resnick's "Doppelgangster," and I even made Michael read that one (he also loved it). It's quick and funny, it even made me laugh out loud. And it was a good mystery as well, with the clues there to be found, if you noticed them.

I enjoyed Esther M. Friesner's story "Au Purr" which was well done fantasy and a pretty good mystery. I also really liked Lawrence Watt-Evans' story "Dropping Hints." It reminded me of a puzzle that I'd heard, or perhaps a folk tale, of five identical creatures, and how do you tell them apart? M.J. Hamilton's "Double Jeopardy" was also interesting, although I found the fantasy element rather confusing in the beginning.

And confusing is where the stories I didn't like seemed to go wrong. I had a terrible time trying to make any sense of Debra Doyle's "A Death in the Working." The story was only 8 1/2 pages, but took me three days to read, and I never did make sense of what was happening.

And there were some stories that were good fantasies, but really didn't seem like mysteries. I enjoyed Mercedes Lackey's "Grey Eminence" but it hardly seemed a murder mystery.

So, as a mystery collection, I found this anthology mostly disappointing. But I really do recommend looking for Laura Resnick's "Doppelgangster," which was just plain fun.

Publisher: Aspect

Rating: 5/10

Maiden, Matron, Crone (2005) edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Kerrie Hughes

I try to pick up fantasy anthologies when I see them, since chances are they won't be there the next time I look. I picked up Maiden, Matron, Crone while ago, but saved it to read during the school year, because short story collections are much easier to put down than books.

Some of the stories in this collection were good, some were so-so, and a couple were quite excellent. And there weren't any stories that I absolutely hated, which is always a good thing. The best part of this collection, however, is that if focused on female characters, and for the most part strong female characters.

Published by Daw