Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2022

The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2022 is the annual anthology (the 26th!) of well curated mystery and suspense short fiction of the year chosen by guest editor Jess Walter and with an insightful and interesting foreword by series editor Steph Cha.  Released 1st Nov 2022 by Harper Collins on their Mariner imprint, it's 336 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

There are 20 stories by my count and they're from authors both familiar and new to me. The stories are varied, there were (as always) some which didn't grab me personally, but all were well written and competently plotted. One reason I like collections and anthologies is that short fiction is really challenging.  It's spare and the author doesn't have a wealth of wordage to develop characters or the plotting.  Well written short fiction is a delight. I also love collections because if one story doesn't really grab me, there's another story just a few pages away. 

A special aside about the book's introduction, engagingly written by Jess Walter. I -love- reading author notes, journals, thought processes, heck, even the "music I listened to whilst writing this book" lists authors occasionally include in their notes. Mr. Walter writes charmingly and geekily with humor and wit about all of the above and even ties it in to Patricia Highsmith's reprinted journals (which I must now chase down and read immediately, thanks for increasing my TBR pile).

Four stars on average. It's a quality read, and highly recommended. It's also a good resource for finding new authors to follow, and being reminded of ones you haven't read for a few years.

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

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