Sixteen stories from 1982 publications--with two clear standouts, both British, both from books (rather than magazines): the...

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THE YEAR'S BEST MYSTERY & SUSPENSE STORIES 1983

Sixteen stories from 1982 publications--with two clear standouts, both British, both from books (rather than magazines): the creepy title story of Ruth Rendell's The Fever Tree collection; and, from Frederick Forsyth's No Comebacks, the even creepier ""There Are No Snakes in Ireland."" There are smoothly handled lesser items from other hard-cover collections, too: Peter Godfrey's so-so psycho-memory puzzle, ""Gone"" (from John Creasey's Crime Collection 1982); Julian Symons' stylish but shameless reworking of Psycho, ""The Dream is Better"" (from Winter's Crimes 14); a whimsical tale of Arab grave-robbers in London from Paul Theroux's The London Embassy. And the rest comes largely out of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine--with just-competent work from all concerned: Patricia Moyes (a very flight blackmail anecdote), Clark Howard (undercover-agent finds love among Southern bootleggers), Patricia McGerr, James Powell, Joyce Harrington (a strong marital-tension setup with a limp ending), Francis M. Nevins, Jr., and the ubiquitous Hoch himself. (Jack Ritchie, however, does provide a fleck or two of genuine humor in one of his episodes for vampire/detective Cardula.) For those who haven't already come across the Rendell, the Forsyth, and those British collections, then: an uneven but welcome gathering. For those who have: one of the least impressive entries in this erratic series.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1983

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1983

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