Off the blustery streets in the medieval heart of Budapest, Captain Tucker Wayne and his war dog, Kane, rescue a mysterious woman fleeing three armed men. The secret she holds will unlock a terrible treasure, one steeped in blood and treachery, tied to a crime going back to the fall of Nazi Germany and a heritage of suffering and pain that reaches out from the past to wreak havoc today. In a final showdown in the depths of a lost cemetery, truths will be unearthed, treasures exposed, and the fate of all will rest upon the shoulders of one man and a dog whose courage is beyond measure.
Included within this thrilling story is a sneak peek at the opening chapters of Bloodline, in which the further exploits of Tucker and Kane will be revealed.
In the haunted, war-torn highlands of Afghanistan, amid the ruins of Shahr-e-Gholghol, an archaeology team is massacred in the night. Sergeant Jordan Stone and his crack forensic team are called in to examine the site, to hunt for the perpetrators of this horrific act. But the discovery of a survivor—a child of ten—will shatter all the team knows about life and death. Among the crumbling bones of dead kings, something hoary and murderous stirs out of the ancient past, lurching forward to claim vengeance on those still living.
Included with this thrilling story is a sneak peek at The Blood Gospel, where the further exploits of Sergeant Stone and his team will be revealed.
Seichan is ripped out of the Sigma series for an adventure all her own—but can she survive? The beautiful and elusive assassin wakes in a hotel in Paris with a deadly electronic collar fastened to her throat. Joined by a boy who is similarly threatened, she must rescue the son of a hated enemy, who has fallen under the sway of the nefarious leader of an apocalyptic cult. To survive, she must venture into the dark world beneath the City of Lights, into the infamous catacombs of Paris. Caught between two enemies, she must fight for her life…while time ticks down toward a fiery apocalypse. But in the dark, surrounded by the moldering bones of the dead, even success does not equal survival. In the end, the only true hope for the world lies in a stunning act of betrayal.
Included with this short story is a sneak peek at the first 70 pages of The Devil Colony, where a clue unlocked by The Skeleton Key will play a key role.
Now from the bestselling and award-winning writer comes Six Easy Pieces. The beloved Ezekiel Rawlins now has a steady job as senior head custodian of Sojourner Truth High School, a nice house with a garden, a loving woman, and children. He counts the blessings of leading a law-abiding life, but is "nowhere near happy." Easy mourns the loss of his best friend, Mouse. Though Easy tries to leave the street life behind, he still finds himself trading favors and investigating cases of arson, murder, and missing people. People who can't depend on the law to solve their problems seek out Easy.
A bomb is set in the high school where Easy works. A man's daughter runs off with his employee. A beautiful woman turns up dead and the man who loved her is wrongly accused. Easy is the man people turn to in search of justice and retribution. He even becomes party to a killing that the police might call murder.
Six of the seven stories in Six Easy Pieces were published in reissued Washington Square Press editions of the Easy Rawlins mysteries Gone Fishin', Devil in a Blue Dress, A Red Death, White Butterfly, Black Betty, and A Little Yellow Dog. A seventh, "Amber Gate," is newly published here, making this new Walter Mosley classic a must-have for all fans of great fiction.
In this inviting collection, Agatha Christie enlists the services of her finest—Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and Parker Pyne—and puts them each to the test in the most challenging cases of their careers.
For Ellery Queen, there is no puzzle that reason cannot solve. In his time, he has faced down killers, thugs, and thieves, protected only by the might of his brain—and the odd bit of timely intervention by his father, a burly New York police inspector. But when a university professor asks Queen to teach a class, the detective finds there are people whom reason cannot touch: college students. Queen’s adventure on campus is only the first of this incomparable collection of short mysteries. In these pages, he tangles with a violent book thief, an assassin who targets acrobats, and New York’s only cleanly shaven bearded lady. Criminals everywhere fear him, whether they work in mansions or back alleys. No mystery is too difficult for the man with the golden brain.
First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected — and most popular — of its kind.
The Best American Mystery Stories 2012 includes
Peter S. Beagle, Kathleen Ford, Mary Gaitskill, Lou Manfredo, Thomas McGuane,
Gina Paoli, T. Jefferson Parker, Kristine Kathryn Rusch,
Charles Todd, Daniel Woodrell, and others
In this collection of short stories, the answers are as unexpected as they are satisfying. The Queen of Mystery takes bizarre romantic entanglements, supernatural visitations, and classic murder to inventive new heights.
Including such bestselling authors as Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth George, Faye Kellerman, Jonathan Kellerman, Ed McBain, Anne Perry, and Ruth Rendell, plus many, many others, this volume will positively blow the competition away. For, unlike the other various mystery anthologies, The World's Finest Crime and Mystery Stories collects stories from writers around the globe, including Britain's Silver Dagger short-fiction award winners. It will also be almost twice as big, weighing in at more than 200,000 words, and will arrive two months before the competition.
This comprehensive anthology promises to be the definitive annual collection of the very best mystery and suspense stories the world over.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In deep retirement in the English country-side, an eighty-nine-year-old man, vaguely recollected by locals as a once-famous detective, is more concerned with his beekeeping than with his fellow man. Into his life wanders Linus Steinman, nine years old and mute, who has escaped from Nazi Germany with his sole companion: an African gray parrot. What is the meaning of the mysterious strings of German numbers the bird spews out -- a top-secret SS code? The keys to a series of Swiss bank accounts perhaps? Or something more sinister? Is the solution to this last case -- the real explanation of the mysterious boy and his parrot -- beyond even the reach of the once-famed sleuth?
Subtle revelations lead the reader to a wrenching resolution. This brilliant homage, which won the 2004 Aga Khan Prize for fiction, is the work of a master storyteller at the height of his powers.
Who but Agatha Christie could concoct such canny crimes? Who but Belgian detective Hercule Poirot could possibly solve them? It's a challenge to be met—in a triumph of detection.
Employing this skilful balance between ingenuity and humour, Crispin lays out all the clues so that the reader is given the opportunity to solve each crime by themselves before it is done so immaculately by the eccentric but immensely gifted Professor Fen.
First-published post-humously in 1979, Fen Country is Edmund Crispin's second collection of short stories.
Far from the gentle slopes of the Hundred Acre Wood lies The Red House, the setting for A.A Milne's only detective story, where secret passages, uninvited guests, a sinister valet and a puzzling murder lay the foundations for a classic crime caper. And when the local police prove baffled, it is up to a guest at a local inn to appoint himself 'Sherlock Holmes' and, together with his friend and loyal 'Watson', delve deeper into the mysteries of the dead man.
The Red House Mystery is a lost gem from a time before Tigger and a perfectly crafted whodunit with witty dialogue, deft plotting and a most curious cast of characters.
A thief targets a local bookstore and it will take a bibliophile PI to save the shop
Tess Monaghan wants to like the Children’s Bookstore. It’s bright, cozy, and packed with the kinds of books that she is dying for her daughter to fall in love with. But no matter how badly she wants to support this adorable local business, the owner’s attitude stops her in her tracks. What kind of children’s bookseller hates children? What’s eating Octavia, the grouchy owner, is more than the pressures of running a small business. Each Saturday, someone steals a stack of her priciest, most beautiful children’s books, and the expense threatens to force her fledgling store out of business. Luckily, Tess is more than a book lover—she’s a private investigator who doesn’t mind working pro bono to help out an independent bookshop. Her simple act of kindness will make Octavia smile for the first time in months—and uncover a crime more suitable for the mystery aisle than the children’s section.
A retelling of the Christmas story like you've never heard it before.
Mary is alone in the stable with the baby Jesus when an angel arrives and offers her a difficult decision to make.
But there is much more to this collection than dark-haired vixens and crimes of passion. Some stories are brooding, some twisted; some bring righteous satisfaction, some linger in the back of your mind. What is truly on display is an impressive collection of literary talent: a group of some of the best writers we have, weaving fresh and memorable stories from a pair of classic themes. Taken as a whole, they are a rare treat for fans of great fiction, whether it's high literature, good old-fashioned suspense, or anything in between. Original black-and-white art by artist/author Jonathan Santlofer completes this innovative, exciting, and irresistibly intriguing book-a true literary gem.
Only the Queen of Mystery could have conceived such delicious treats for suspense lovers. Only the inimitable Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple could solve them with such chilling perfection.
In a heavily mortgaged country house, an heiress’s sinister guardian attempts to trap her in a bedroom with a rare Indian swamp adder—a murder averted only by the timely intervention of Sherlock Holmes. Five months after the events of “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” Holmes and Watson are called back to Stoke Moran by a frightened gypsy who claims that the viper has gotten loose again. Holmes is unsure which poses a greater danger: the rumored snake, or the possibility that the gypsy is telling lies.
In these dozen tales, short story master Edward D. Hoch resurrects the most brilliant mind in the history of detective fiction. In the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes tangles with circus tigers, Druidic curses, and a pair of Christmas killings. Here is the finest detective of the Victorian age—recreated by one of the greatest mystery writers of the twentieth century.
When her husband demands a divorce, a young wife heads to Reno alone, leaving the baby with her husband and his new beloved, betting that a week trapped between his child and his mistress will make her hubby yearn for her return. By the sea, a hairdresser gets into mischief over a star sports fisherman. And in a city threatened by conflict, a World War I veteran tries to make himself useful by enforcing the blackout.
These are just a few of the scenes from the short fiction of Mary Roberts Rinehart, who in these nine brief tales shows why she was one of the nation’s most popular authors for so many decades. Though famous as a mystery writer, Rinehart is just as much at home writing drama, or taking a witty look at the lighter side of law and order. More than a century since she published her first story, Rinehart’s prose remains as sharp as an assassin’s blade.
One day she slips away from the cantonment to visit the famous seer in a nearby village. Before this woman can finish telling her fortune, Bess is summoned back for an afternoon tea with the Maharani, a close friend of her parents'. The seer's last words are a warning about forthcoming danger that Bess takes as the usual patter. But this visit by the Maharani has ominous overtones that mark it as more than a social call. Her husband has political enemies, and she has come to ask Bess's father, Major Crawford, for help.
As the Maharani is leaving, Bess notices that there is something amiss with the royal entourage. Major Crawford must set out after them—but will he be in time?
And what will happen to Bess, and the household left behind, when a vicious assassin circles back to take hostages?
Here is an extraordinary glimpse into the childhood of the Bess Crawford we know from her service in the Great War.
The need for love—obsessive, self-destructive, unpredictable—takes us to forbidden places, as in the chilling world of Give Me Your Heart, a new collection of stories by the inimitable Joyce Carol Oates.
In the suspenseful “Strip Poker,” a reckless adolescent girl must find a way of turning the tables on a gathering of increasingly threatening young men—Can she “outplay” them? In the award-winning “Smother!” a young woman’s nightmare memory of childhood brings trouble on her professor-mother—Which of them will “win”? In “Split/Brain” a woman who has blundered into a lethal situation confronts the possibility of saving herself—Will she take it? In “The First Husband,” a jealous man discovers that his wife seems to have lied about her first marriage, and exacts a cruel revenge, years after the fact. In these and other powerful tales, children veer beyond their parents’ control, wives and husbands wake up to find that they hardly know each other, haunted pasts intrude upon uncertain futures, and those who bring us the most harm may be the nearest at hand.
In ten razor-sharp stories, National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates shows that the most deadly mysteries often begin at home.
The Best Mystery & Thriller eBooks includes:
An Introduction from Laura Lippman
And excerpts from:
Watching the Dark by Peter Robinson
Proof of Guilt by Charles Todd
The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie
The Riptide Ultra-Glide by Tim Dorsey
The Carrion Birds by Urban Waite
There Was An Old Woman by Hallie Ephron
The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon
The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne
And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman
Three Shorts Stories: Scratch a Woman; One True Love; Form 95 by Laura Lippman
Sherlock Holmes, the world's best-known and most-loved fictional detective, is more popular today than ever. This collection presents many of the most familiar cases Holmes and his assistant, Dr. Watson, ever solve, including "Silver Blaze," "The Greek Interpreter," and "The Musgrave Ritual." As Holmes's fame grows, it brings him notoriety that piques the ire of London's criminal underworld, who begin to scheme against him. It is in "The Final Problem" that Dr. Watson relates the grisly, fatal, and shocking tale of how Holmes finally meets his match, encountering the diabolical Professor Moriarty in a terrible struggle at Reichenbach Falls. Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes sequel, starring Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, and Stephen Fry, will be coming to theaters in December 2011.
Charlotte MacLeod’s heroes were men and women like Peter Shandy and Sarah Kelling—genteel sleuths who fight crime with brains, not brawn—and her settings were the drawing rooms and servants’ quarters of New England and beyond. With a keen wit and a strong eye for detail, she crafted some of the most memorable victims, murderers, and innocent bystanders of twentieth-century detective novels. In this volume, she proves herself a master of the short story as well. Here is the original Peter Shandy story, featuring the school that would eventually metamorphose into Balaclava Agricultural College. Here is peculiar Cousin Claude, who strangles himself with his own necktie. And here is the tale that answers the question “What does Max Bittersohn do when his wife is not around?” Whether the characters are familiar or not, the style is irresistible, and the mysteries are as delightfully puzzling as ever.
There is a hungry tiger loose in the house, and that is not good news for anyone. A jealous husband let the animal out of his cage hoping he would eat his wife alive, but tigers aren’t used to taking orders. This jungle cat will get his meal, and he doesn’t care where it comes from.
“The Baby in the Icebox” begins with a murdered wildcat and ends with a dead human—and what comes in between is some of the most striking prose James M. Cain ever put to paper. It is one of the first stories this master of crime fiction ever wrote, and it shows all the hallmarks of the novels that would later make him famous—namely Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice. The tales in this collection are short, but Cain never needed more than a few pages to thrill.
Wealthy Mrs. Harter has a heart condition. Her nephew, Charles, who lives with her, buys her a radio for amusement, but strange messages come from it. Could her dead husband really be sending her messages? And why is he warning that her life is in danger?
When Sir Arthur Carmichael, the young and healthy heir to a large estate, starts behaving strangely, psychiatrist Edward Carstairs is summoned to assess the situation. Sir Arthur appears to be behaving like a cat—only days after his mother killed a grey Persian!
Retired Scotland Yard detective Sir Edward Palliser is called upon by Magdalen Vaughan to help solve the murder of her wealthy, eccentric aunt, Miss Lily Crabtree. The authorities believe only members of the household could have committed the crime, and this suspicion is tearing the family apart. Who really killed Lily's aunt?
On the morning of the merger, fog shrouds the offices of Jupiter Steel. On the twenty-first floor, the board of directors gathers to follow the commands of Billy Calm, an unequaled titan of finance. But a few minutes before the meeting, Calm jumps out a window. The chief of security rushes to the street, but where there should be a body, he sees only slush; Billy Calm has vanished into the fog.
“The Long Way Down” is a classic Edward D. Hoch story—elegantly baffling, with prose that will please even the most hard-boiled fans. But this collection contains much more than puzzles. Here are the odds and ends of Hoch’s early work, covering espionage, boxing, and every shade of noir—as beautiful as the fog, and as chilling as the first step off the ledge.
In a small town near Washington, DC, seventy-three villagers make the spontaneous decision to leap from a cliff to their deaths. They leave no explanation behind, but local rumor suggests they were being manipulated by an ancient, evil power. In a monastery in West Virginia, a monk fears his brothers—and is finally pushed from the window of one of the towers. And in a town in Westchester County, New York, a self-proclaimed witch casts a spell on a group of female college students.
These are strange cases, seemingly beyond the grasp of reason—and perfect fodder for Simon Ark. A Coptic priest of the ancient world, he was condemned after the Crucifixion to live forever, wandering the earth and rooting out evil. And in the small, shadowy corners of small-town America, he will encounter great evil indeed.
Clarke Wellington supposes it’s time he murdered his wife. Dolly isn’t a promiscuous woman, and she isn’t violent, but she is stingy, petty, and cruel, and she runs her household with a tyranny that has turned her husband into a mouse and her children into frightened little automatons. Of course, it’s easy to make this kind of decision, but much harder to follow through. When a man hasn’t stood up for himself in years, how can he possibly learn to kill?
“The Man Who Killed His Wife” is just one in this sterling collection of short stories by a master of the classic mystery novel. Rinehart tells her tales one couple at a time, from the Wellingtons to the Bryces to the Chisholms. In some of their houses is physical violence, and in some, the torment is purely emotional. Not until death will these happy couples part, but that day is coming sooner than some of them think.
Christianna Brand was born Mary Christianna Milne in Malaya in 1907. She spent her childhood in India. At 17 she learned her father had lost all his money. Without a shred of training or experience she found herself faced with earning a living. She held a string of jobs, but lent little distinction to any of them: nursery governess, packer of beaded dresses for export, hostess in a plush nightclub, professional ballroom dancer, model in Bond Street dress shops, and, “most hopeless of all,” secretary.
In 1939, lacking any training in literature or journalism, Mary Milne decided to try writing fiction. Her first novel, Death in High Heels, was rejected by 15 publishers before The Bodley Head took it in 1941, published under the pen name, Christianna Brand.
In the headquarters of Britain’s Foreign Office, a secretary spies a television actor making a copy of a top-secret key. In an island republic, an intelligence operative is murdered just minutes before exposing a Communist mole. And in a bustling eastern city, the Cold War reaches a turning point over a piece of film the size of a pinhead. These are cases for C. Jeffery Rand, the fixer inside Britain’s secret service. He is bright, ruthless, and smart enough never to be surprised by the depths to which an enemy spy might sink.
Where Jeffery Rand is hard-nosed, Nick Velvet has a supple touch. A master thief, Velvet has a particular skill for stealing unusual items. Where ordinary thieves might be content with jewels or bank notes, Velvet pilfers rare tigers, water from swimming pools, and the letters on a company sign.
In this collection, you will find seven stories of Rand and seven of Velvet—two brilliant men, one on either side of the law, each with a knack for doing the impossible.