With stories by Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, L. Frank Baum, Edith Wharton, Stephen Crane, and Jack London, The Best American Mystery Stories of the Nineteenth Century is an essential anthology of American letters. It’s a unique blend of beloved writers who contributed to the genre and forgotten names that pioneered the form, such as Anna Katharine Green, the godmother of mystery fiction, and the African-American writer Charles W. Chesnutt. Of course, Penzler includes “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” recognized as the first detective story, and with thirty-three stories spanning the years 1824–1899, nowhere else can readers find such a surprising, comprehensive take on the evolution of the American mystery story.
BLANCHE AND THE TALENTED TENTH
The second, ground-breaking mystery featuring African-American maid and amateur sleuth Blanche White by Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Award winning Author Barbara Neely
When Blanche White moved north to Boston, she believed it would be a better place to raise her kids, especially after she got them into an elite private school. But now her children are becoming elitist and judgmental, acquiring more attitude than education. So when she and her kids are invited to Amber Cove, an exclusive resort in Maine for wealthy blacks, Blanche jumps at the chance to see how the other half lives and maybe stop her kids turning into people she doesn’t want to know. When one of the guests kills himself, and another is electrocuted in her bathtub, Blanche becomes an accidental detective once again, using her sharp wit and keen social insight to peel back some disturbing color and class distinctions within the black community that may have driven someone to murder.
“One of the best fictional detectives conjured up in years,” Library Journal
“An acerbic portrait of class infighting at its most corrosive,” Kirkus Reviews
“The uproarious Blanche White, the southern housekeeper who knows her own mind, opened doors to the nuances of black life for readers and writers alike. Barbara Neely is a trailblazer,” Naomi Hirahara, Edgar Award-winning author.
As this volume demonstrates, distribution of vampires and zombies across time and space has revealed these undead figures to carry multiple meanings. Of all monsters, vampires and zombies seem to be the trendiest--the most regularly incarnate of the undead and the monsters most frequently represented in the media and pop culture. Moreover, both figures have experienced radical reinterpretations. If in the past vampires were evil, blood-sucking exploiters and zombies were brainless victims, they now have metamorphosed into kinder and gentler blood-sucking vampires and crueler, more relentless, flesh-eating zombies.
Although the portrayals of both vampires and zombies can be traced back to specific regions and predate mass media, the introduction of mass distribution through film and game technologies has significantly modified their depiction over time and in new environments. Among other topics, contributors discuss zombies in Thai films, vampire novels of Mexico, and undead avatars in horror videogames. This volume--with scholars from different national and cultural backgrounds--explores the transformations that the vampire and zombie figures undergo when they travel globally and through various media and cultures.
Though these women have been known to complain more than contribute, they now must either survive on their own or die trying. In simple but vivid detail, Velma Wallis depicts a landscape and way of life that are at once merciless and starkly beautiful. In her old women, she has created two heroines of steely determination whose story of betrayal, friendship, community, and forgiveness "speaks straight to the heart with clarity, sweetness, and wisdom" (Ursula K. Le Guin).