An amplified reprint from Harper's magazine in which editor/author Hitt, as the wealthy, unhappily married ``Tim,'' puckishly asked five mystery writers—Lawrence Block, Sarah Caudwell, Tony Hillerman, Peter Lovesey, and Donald Westlake—to suggest a fabulous, money-no-object, dramatic means of disposing of his philandering ``wife'' that would incriminate his cuckolding ``best friend.'' Surprisingly, Hitt turns out to be the best writer in the group, Westlake the flattest, and Hillerman and Lovesey the funniest. Their schemes? Lovesey resurrects his jellyfish-in-the- Jacuzzi scenario, which has appeared in at least three previous anthologies; Caudwell costumes hers in Scottish kilt and plaid; Block disguises his as a serial slaying (``Kill the bitch,'' he says, over and over); Hillerman opts for a confessional twist, a dunk in the tub, and poisoned mushrooms as well; and Westlake creates a double identity so that the murderer can be his own alibi. Then Hitt asks the authors to critique each other's schemes. They gleefully attack him and each other. A hilarious means of introducing readers to the mind-set of the hard-boiled, the cozy, the traditional, the antic, and the glib state of the current mystery masterminds, with Hillerman and Lovesey the standouts.
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