Описание произведения. Электронная библиотека, книги всех жанров
The Best American Mystery Stories 1999
(Edited and with an Introduction by Ed McBain
Otto Penzler, Series Editor)
“Keller’s Last Refuge” by Lawrence Block. First published in Playboy, March 1998. Copyright © 1998 by Lawrence Block. Reprinted by permission of Knox Burger Associates, Ltd.
“Safe” by Gary A. Braunbeck. First published in Robert Bloch’s Psychos, edited by Robert Bloch. Pocket Books. Copyright © 1998 by Gary A. Braunbeck. Reprinted by permission of the author.
“Fatherhood” by Thomas H. Cook. First published in Murder for Revenge, edited by Otto Penzler, Delacorte Press. Copyright © 1998 by Thomas H. Cook. Reprinted by permission of Russell & Volkening as agent for the author.
“Wrong Time, Wrong Place” by Jeffery Deaver. First published in The best of the Best, edited by Elaine Koster and Joseph Pittman, Signet. Copyright © 1998 by Jeffery W. Deaver. Reprinted by permission of the author.
“Netmail” by Brendan DuBois. First published in Playboy, May 1998. Copyright © 1998 by Brendan DuBois. Reprinted by permission of Jed Mattes. Inc., New York.
“Redneck” by Loren D. Estleman. First published as “Double Whammy” in Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine, Fall 1998. Copyright © 1998 by Loren D Estleman. Reprinted by permission of Loren D. Fstleman.
“And Maybe the Horse Will Learn to Sing” by Gregory Fallis. First published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, 1998. Copyright © 1998 by Gregory Fallis. Reprinted by permission of Gregory Fallis.
“Poachers” by Tom Franklin. First published in Texas Review, Spring 1998. Copyright © 1998 by Tom Franklin. Reprinted by permission of Texas Review.
“Hitting Rufus” by Victor Gischler. First published in Lynx Eye, Spring 1998. Copyright © 1998 by Victor Gischler. Reprinted by permission of Victor Gischler.
“Out There in the Darkness” by Ed Gorman. First published in Robert Bloch’s Psychos, edited by Robert Bloch, Pocket Books. Copyright © 1997 by Ed Gorman. Reprinted by permission of the author.
“Survival” by Joseph Hansen. First published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, October 1998. Copyright © 1998 by Joseph Hansen. Reprinted by permission of the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency.
“A Death on the Ho Chi Minh Trail” by David. K. Harford. First published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, March 1998. Copyright © 1998 by David K. Harford. Reprinted by permission of David K. Harford.
“An Innocent Bystander” by Gary Krist. First published in Playboy, April 1998. Copyright © 1998 by Gary Krist. Reprinted by permission of the author and the Irene Skolnick Literary Agency.
“The Jailhouse Lawyer” by Phillip M. Margolin. First published in Legal Briefs, edited by William Bernhardt, published by Doubleday, 1998. Copyright © 1998 by Phillip M. Margolin. Reprinted by permission of Phillip M. Margolin.
“Secret, Silent” by Joyce Carol Oates. First published in Boulevard, Fall 1998. Copyright © 1998 by Ontario Review, Inc. Reprinted by permission of John Hawkins & Associates, Inc.
“In Flanders Fields” by Peter Robinson. First published in Not Safe After Dark and Other Stories, Crippen & Landru. Copyright © 1998 by Peter Robinson. Reprinted by permission of Peter Robinson.
“Dry Whiskey” by David B. Silva. First published in Cemetery Dance, vol. 8, no. 3. Copyright © 1998 by David B. Silva. Reprinted by permission of David B. Silva.
“Sacrifice” by L. L. Thrasher. First published in Murderous Intent, Summer/Fall 1998. Copyright © 1998 by Linda Thrasher Baty. Reprinted by permission of Linda Thrasher Baty.
“Bech Noir” by John Updike. First published in The New Yorker, June 8, 1998. Copyright © 1998 by John Updike. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Now that Best American Mystery Stories has its third annual volume, two elements have accrued that were impossible when we were just starting up. Like so many sets of circumstances, they are undeniably linked yet totally disparate.
The first is that the books have enjoyed delightful success (for which I, my publisher, and the contributors sincerely thank you). Weeks on local best-seller lists and on the national best-seller compilations of Ingram, America’s largest book wholesaler, bring a flush of gratitude and excitement that is unlike most other human experience. If anything of a similar nature has occurred in your life, you know precisely what I mean. If it hasn’t (and I truly hope it does), trust me, it brightens your life.
“Did we make the list?”
“Yes, we’re number five.”
Indelibly connected with such euphoric moments, and patently a vital part of them, is the review attention from magazines and newspapers. When someone calls and says, “Did you see the review in whatever-publication-that-I-haven’t-ever-read-before-in-my-life-but that-is-now-my-absolute-favorite-publication-in-all-the-land?” I say, “No-but-would-you-read-it-to-me-please-but-first-tell-me-is-it-good-or-bad?” in about a tenth of a second, each syllable running into the next so utterly that I’m certain the entire sentence is incomprehensible gibberish (of which I have been accused even when enunciating impeccably, I’ll concede, but that’s not really the point).
While these moments do not occur often enough (three times a day, every day for, say, six months would be about right), what they lack in frequency is made up in the pure toe-curling elation of having good words in the air, filling the room as if with the “Hallelujah” Chorus.
Perhaps wrongly, I have a very proprietary feeling for this series of books. I live with each book for a full year, reading hundreds of stories and skimming hundreds of others. It’s easy with the mystery anthologies and magazines, and the stories personally submitted by authors, editors, publishers, and good souls who just want to make sure something worthwhile isn’t missed. Then, I’m pretty sure there’s a mystery story in my hands. But many small literary magazines don’t send subscriptions or tearsheets, and neither do many of the larger consumer magazines, so all the stories between their covers need to be scanned to see if they are appropriate for consideration for this book.
Full disclosure. I have a friend and colleague, Michele Slung, the world’s fastest and smartest reader, whose help in the above process is invaluable. She can spend several ten- or twelve-hour days going through an entire year’s worth of The New Yorker, Harper’s, women’s magazines that carry fiction, and stacks of literary magazines and come back with five photocopied stories. “Here,” she’ll say, “these might qualify. Forget the rest.” What she can speed-read in one day would take me two weeks, which helps me to be confident that just about every mystery and crime story published in the United States or Canada is read during the course of the year. If a story doesn’t make it into this book, it is unlikely that it was overlooked.
Which brings me back to that proprietary sense. Knowing how thorough the process is for being considered for a place in one of the annual volumes in this series, I regard it as a serious honor to be short-listed, as it were. To make the cut onto the list of the top fifty stories of the year is not easy, and it may be even more difficult for the guest editor to select the top twenty from that group, all of which are good. It may be much like the feeling a good teacher has when she sends her class off after graduation and later learns that some of them have had great success in life. I care about these stories and their creators, and I want them to have success, so it is a joyful moment when it comes to them, whether as part of a good review or as a surprisingly active seller. That both these delightful events have come to pass fills me with gratifying avuncular pride.
In the first paragraph, I suggested that two entirely disparate sets of circumstances have come to pass as this series has been published. The second is a bit, shall we say, less fulfilling than the first. It is the relentless, if sometimes