The Best American Mystery Stories 2019

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While Jonathan Lethem is known more for detective characters in his novels than for true mystery, no one can doubt his understanding of the genre. The stories selected for The Best American Mystery Short Stories 2019 are filled with every twist and turn imaginable, and a few you couldn’t think of if you tried.

Reading this collection is a surefire adrenaline rush, especially for fans of fiction that takes you places you weren’t expecting. The collection opens with the dark “Coach O” by Robert Hinderliter, in which a high school football coach suspects his wife of having an affair as he also realizes his star player is an alcoholic. The way the coach chooses to deal with both situations is as wrong as it is riveting. Anne Therese Macdonald’s “That Donnelly Crowd” seems, on the surface, to be about the poor choices of a woman traveling abroad until more sinister forces emerge in the guise of a charismatic Irishman. A bigger name, Pulitzer Prize-winner Joyce Carol Oates, also appears in the collection with her horrifying “The Archivist”: for school teachers, this one is a particularly terrifying read. But the story I can’t stop thinking about is “Hannah-Beast” by Jennifer McMahon. Trust me when I say it will grip you and not let go.

These pieces, along with sixteen other excellent short stories, will keep you turning pages far into the night.

Reviewed By:

Author Edited by Jonathan Lethem
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Mariner Books
Publish Date 2019-10-01
ISBN 9781328636096 Buy this Book
Issue February 2020
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller


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