IT’S ABOUT CRIME, by Marvin Lachman

MWA Anthology

   Short-story anthologies are good for the reader, as well as the writer who earns some more royalties, and there are more around than usual. The Year’s Best Mystery and Suspense Stories, 1988, edited by Edward D. Hoch (Walker, 1988), inevitably contains a selection of the best of the previous year.

   It is the strongest in this series in many years and includes Harlan Ellison’s Edgar winner, “Soft Monkey,” regarding a New York bag lady, and Robert Barnard’s “The Woman in the Wardrobe,” which EQMM‘s readers selected as their favorite story of 1987.

   I’m glad editor Hoch showed no false modesty and included his own “Leopold and the Broken Bride,” the year’s best example of pure detection, in which a woman disappears as she is ready to walk down the aisle at her wedding.

   MWA’s 1988 anthology, Distant Danger, edited by Janwillem van de Wetering (Wynwood, 1988), shows both variety and quality in thirteen reprints by authors like Hoch,Gores, Lillian de la Torre, Margaret Maron, and Amanda Cross. There were also three new stories, including one by Stephanie Kay Bendel that reminds me of some of the fine short novels American Magazine once published.

— Reprinted from The MYSTERY FANcier,
Vol. 11, No. 1, Winter 1989.