It can be hard to pick just one book to read. With these anthologies, you don’t have to! From classic detectives searching for the truth to accidental bystanders who have found themselves at the wrong place at the wrong time, these stories will twist and turn to unexpected places expanding what we know of mystery and thriller as a genre.
Edited by Jeffery Deaver
Edited by Raymond Benson
The only American writers to be commissioned to pen official James Bond novels, Jeffery Deaver and Raymond Benson join forces to bring together some of the most celebrated mystery writers. Their stories are set in the chilling backdrop of The Cold War, a terrifying time when there was a high possibility of a nuclear war between the world’s two superpowers. From a reimagining of the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Deaver’s “Comrade 35” to espionage drama when a girl befriends a mouse in a biological warfare laboratory, these twenty tales of nuclear brinksmanship, psychological drama, and femme fatales will entertain a wide audience.
In this collection, we follow Socrates Fortlow, an ex-convict who has made a life for himself after being released from prison nine years ago. He has a girlfriend now and a steady job. He even is caring for a pet, a two-legged dog named Killer. Despite all of this, Socrates is still made out to be a suspect for any crime within a six-block radius. In each chapter, he challenges a different problem in life, such as potentially having less freedom for a better-paying job in “Blue Lightning,” or learning that a promise made to one person can hurt another in “Promise.” These situations force Socrates to define his own morality and confront the most dangerous emotion of all: hope.
Jeffery Deaver, bestselling author of The Burial Hour, brings us this gripping collection of three short stories. In “Fast,” Kathryn Dance has a few hours to stop a terrorist bombing and tries to get information from a suspect who firmly believes in his cause. “Game” features a wealthy woman gone missing, and her caring housekeeper who pays a private detective to find her body to say a final goodbye. In the final story, “Paradice,” [sic] John Pellam finds himself a suspect in a murder that occurred around a location he used in a movie. While each of the stories seems to be going in one direction, Deaver keeps readers on their toes with masterful plot twists that make their plots all the more compelling.
Peter Washington (Editor)
As part of the “Everyman’s Library Pocket Classics” series, this anthology contains beloved, classic detective stories written by a range of authors - from modern masters such as Sara Paretsky and Ian Rankin to classics from Jorge Luis Borges and Edgar Allen Poe. Readers will follow a range of characters: famous detectives, accidental bystanders, and deceptively unlikely folks including a humble priest. This collection will appeal to anyone who has a love for detective stories.
Lawrence Block (Editor)
Lawrence Block invites seventeen writers to join him in crafting stories inspired by paintings from Edward Hopper, one of the greatest American narrative painters. Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Megan Abbott, Lee Child, and Gail Levin among many others are included in this collection with quiet, thought-provoking stories depicting desperate people coping with hard realities.
Leslie S. Klinger
Leslie S. Klinger brings together exceptional female writers to give them the spotlight they deserve. This collection includes writers like Mary Fortune, Ellen Wood, and Carolyn Wells, and shows the work of the predecessors who helped Christie reign as one of the best mystery authors of our time.
Abby L. Vandiver
This thrilling collection is made up of twenty short mystery and suspense stories from some of today’s finest voices of color. From a séance gone wrong to a grisly murder in a secret love dungeon, each one explores the possibilities over the midnight hours. Authors include Jennifer Chow, Tracy Clark, H. C. Chan, and many more for any fans of crime fiction.
Steph Cha; Alafair Burke
In twenty stories spanning from a mediocre spa in Florida, to death row in Alabama, to New York’s gritty East Village, this collection offers suspense in the small, quiet moments, surprising readers with twists in the least likely of places. The stories are equal parts shocking and suspenseful while also spotlighting tensions that pulsate throughout our everyday lives, offering us a fresh perspective. The collection includes stories from Jenny Bhatt, Gabino Iglesias, Aya De León, and many others.
What to Read Next
Emily Hoang is a writer and editor who is obsessed with haunted houses, ghosts, and dreams. More info can be found on her website.