Tuesday, April 20, 2021

When a Stranger Comes to Town


When a Stranger Comes to Town is an interesting and immersive thematic anthology edited by Michael Koryta which contains 19 high quality short fiction selections from the MWA written around the theme of a stranger coming to town. Due out 20th April 2021 from Harlequin Trade, it's 400 pages and available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. 

One thing I love about anthologies is the potential to find new authors to follow. I tend to read anthologies like chocolate samplers; one story at a time, so this one has taken a while to read. There is an impressive array of authors represented here from instantly recognizable (Joe R. Lansdale, Lisa Unger, Joe Hill, Alafair Burke and more (see the cover)), to new-to-me authors some of whose books have already been added to my TBR pile.

The stories are varied, there were (as always) some which didn't grab me personally, but all were well written and competently plotted. I've always had a particular fondness for collections/anthologies because short fiction is spare and technically challenging, so you get a better feel for an author's expertise with the form. Short fiction is less of a time commitment as well, so if one story is not working for you, there's another piece readily available in a few pages. They were mostly in the 4 star range(ish) with a couple of really standout stories. The Joe Hill piece has really stuck with me in the way good fiction sometimes does, bubbling away on several levels since I finished it. 

Four stars. Well worth seeking out. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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