Monday, June 15, 2015

Liza Cody et al., editors. 3rd Culprit (1994)

     Liza Cody et al., editors. 3rd Culprit (1994) Collection of short stories by members of the Crime Writers’ Association. Most of them are plot-twist tales, such as “Good Interments”, in which an older maiden lady discovers that marrying and murdering elderly gentlemen of means is a good method to enrich herself, until she marries an elderly gentleman with the same aims. Most of the writers have sunken back into relative obscurity, but a few (Paretsky, Westlake, Rankin) have increased in popularity and output.
     Genre writing is a cruel trade; one has to catch the reading public’s taste at just the right time, and a TV or movie deal or two will also please. There are far more skillful and entertaining mystery writers out there than one can possibly read or even know of. The occasional anthology like this one will present the lesser known ones. The CWA has done its members proud. For the reader, this is a fine collection of above average crime writing. I won’t keep this ex-library used copy, so if you luck into one of our local yard sales, you may find it worth a dollar or two. I did. ***

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