While a vast majority of Ed Hoch's stories were mysteries, he enjoyed horror and science fiction. Of his nine-hundred-plus output, he wrote several handfuls of horror and science fiction stories that appeared in various magazines and anthologies. It could be argued that his first published story, "Village of the Dead" (which appeared in the December 1955 issue of the pulp magazine Famous Detective Stories), is as much horror as it is a mystery. In that story, the mass suicide of an entire village is investigated by Simon Ark, a mysterious—possibly two-thousand year old—Coptic Priest.
Here, then, are 31 tales of the future, the fantastic, and the improbable by a master of the craft: Edward D. Hoch, writer extraordinaire!
Robert Barnard's contribution 'Sins of Scarlet' won the National Crime Short Story Prize.
A woman contemplating suicide on Beachy Head finds a bench dedicated to the memory of herself.
An art lover in Venice conducts a spree of mutilations as a response to the Surrealist Movement.
At Heathrow Airport, armed police take up positions to apprehend the wrong man...
The latest showcase of shorts from the CWA celebrates the ‘who’ in the whodunnit, the psyche behind the psychological profile. Husbands lead double lives, psychologists confuse perpetrators with ex-partners, neighbours reassess the people they thought they knew. It seems if there’s one thing you can’t classify or slap an ID card on, it’s the id.
The collection includes stories by two recipients of the Crime Writers’ Association ‘Diamond Dagger’ lifetime achievement award (Peter Lovesey and Robert Barnard), and an American Grand Master awardee (Edward D Hoch, who has published more crime short stories than anyone else, ever!).
Shocking surprises, chilling comeuppances, and mercies that are anything but tender are just part of what to expect from these memorable stories of women's wills...and wiles. Choosing them with an eye to the dangers ever lurking in our everyday lives, acclaimed editor Michele Slung very clearly wants to play with her readers' comfort levels-and succeeds. Among the nineteen tempting treasures she's come up with are stories by four Mystery Writers of America Grand Masters: be prepared to be unsettled by the twists of Edward D. Hoch's tale of burglary-turned-romance; the haunting neighbors dreamed up by Margaret Millar; Stanley Ellin's unreliably recognized intruder; and the plight of Dorothy Salisbury Davis's sensible housekeeper suddenly stricken with a sleuth's awareness. Yet those are hardly all... there's suspense for every taste with each and every compelling page-turner you'll discover here.