THE MYSTERIOUS WEST by Tony Hillerman

THE MYSTERIOUS WEST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Don't get your hopes up: Despite Hillerman's best-selling name on the dust jacket, this isn't a new Leaphorn or Chee mystery (Sacred Clowns, 1993, etc.) but an anthology of 20 new stories by lesser, though still brand-name, authors (Lie Matera, John Lutz, Harold Adams, William J. Reynolds et al.). Nor will you find much of Hillerman's voice in the introductions to individual stories, which are so bland -- "every single one of [Wendy Hornsby's] stories is worth searching for"; "J.A. Jance just keeps on getting better" -- they could practically be interchanged. The best of the lot -- Marcia Muller's bittersweet memoir of a young woman's abortive homecoming, Linda Grant's reunion of a daughter with her eccentric, threatened father, Susan Dunlap's deadpan account of a loony hostage-taking in Berkeley, Ed Gorman's spare, chilling tale of a boy whose father is maddened by a run of bad luck -- typically subordinate atmosphere to the exploration of (generally troubled) family ties. The least successful -- the undernourished whodunits by Dana Stabenow, Bill Crider, and Rex Burns, the postcard landscapes of Karen Kijewski and Bill Pronzini -- seem swallowed up by their settings; and the main interest of the tales by Carole Nelson Douglas and Stuart M. Kaminsky is to watch their tenderfoot creators pick their way gamely through the sagebrush. Despite the novelty of its regional concept and the absence of reprints -- a Texas-size disappointment, without even a story by Hillerman, a nonpareil novelist who'd better not quit his day job.
Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-06-017785-3
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1994




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