The Mystery Box Edited by Brad Meltzer

The Mystery Box Edited by Brad MeltzerReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

The Mystery Box is short story collection of twenty-one stories from as many authors spanning the entire spectrum of the mystery genre. While some of the authors wrote stories readers would expect, more than a few of them stepped outside their writing box and tried a story unlike their full length novels. Some of my favorites included the following.

Jan Burke gets things rolling with The Amiable Miss Edith Montague, a delightful story that is quite a departure from her Irene Kelly series. Great Aunt Edith controlled the Montague fortune until that is, she was murdered. The logical suspect would be the nephew who inherits all, but he has the iron clad alibi of was dining with the police chief at the time of the murder, the suspect list is wide open. There’s a bit of whimsy in this one as well in the form of a secret room.

Laura Lippman gives readers to Waco 1982 when typewriters were still used occasionally. A newspaper reporter gets caught up in the story behind a belt buckle out of the lost and found at one of the town’s establishments, leading her to a not so well covered up crime.

R.L. Stine’s story High Stakes relates what has to be the all time winner for honeymoons from hell. This one is Goosebumps for adults only.

Angela Gerst weighs in with her story, The Secret Life of Books set in Paris and besides murder features some unusual culinary dishes.

Joseph Finder has a weird way of welcoming people to the neighborhood by sending them in search of a buried treasure in Heirloom.

Joseph Goodrich’s Dear Mr. Queen is written almost entirely in the format of letters.

Another author who took a sharp turn from the novels he’s known for is Steven Berry. His tale, Double Jeopardy, is a haunting story of a family’s tragedy.

There is something for everyone in this short story anthology. It’s a chance to catch a different side of some of your favorite authors or try someone new. Either way, readers are bound to be pleased with The Mystery Box.

Disclosure in Accordance with FTC Guidelines 16 CFR Part 255

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