Anthology of Mysteries
Edited by Robert J. Randisi and Christine Matthews
Hats Off Books - March 2002
ISBN 1-58736-091-8 - Trade Paperback

Reviewed by: Susan McBride, MyShelf.Com
Buy a Copy at Book Publisher.Com

The Mayhem in the Midlands convention is one that I always look forward to attending. It takes place annually in Omaha, Nebraska, in late May and is a small, well-organized event that allows readers and authors to share their love of mystery fiction. At the first Mayhem three years ago, writers Robert Randisi and Christine Matthews came up with an idea: to have attending authors donate stories to be placed in an anthology. The proceeds would go to the Omaha Public Library to help underwrite the costs of their sponsorship of Mayhem in the Midlands.

Finally, the product is available to readers and what a wonderful, worthwhile anthology it is (and I'm not just saying that because I've got a story in there called "Stormy Weather"!). There is literally something to suit the taste of every mystery fan, from the witty and ironic "Do Have A Cup of Tea" by Rhys Bowen to "Flyover Country" by Barbara and Max Allan Collins which will have readers fondly recalling Shirley Jackon's classic, "The Lottery." Every story has a delicious twist at the end that's sometimes sad and sometimes sublime. Gayle Lynd's creepy offering, "Satan's Tears," gives another meaning to having family skeletons in the closet. The rest of the collection is equally worthy, including pieces familiar names like Michael Collins, Lee Killough, Annette and Martin Meyers, Denise Swanson, Gretchen Sprague and Mary Welk.

Mystery fans, this one's for you! And your purchase of the book will allow the fabulous Mayhem in the Midlands convention to be enjoyed by many for years and years to come.

Susan McBride is the author of And Then She Was Gone and Overkill.

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