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Fran

Fran

Currently reading

End of Watch: A Novel
Stephen King
Progress: 350/368 pages
In Cold Blood
Truman Capote
Speaker for the Dead
Orson Scott Card
Progress: 125/361 pages
Shift
Hugh Howey
Progress: 240/465 pages
The Prediction
Darren Sugrue
Progress: 34/409 pages
Doctor Sleep
Stephen King
Progress: 353/531 pages
Digital Anthropology
Heather Horst, Daniel Miller

Entertaining short stories with a fun theme

Manhattan Mayhem: New Crime Stories from The Mystery Writers of America - Mary Higgins Clark

As a native New Yorker, I was drawn to this volume of short stories right away. I was travelling (destination New York, as a matter of fact) and had just finished another novel and wanted something that wasn't too dense. I also really like mystery tales and have been trying to find more to read of that genre.

 

I hadn't read much, if any, of Mary Higgins Clark before, but recognized the name. I didn't really recognize any of the other author's in the volume.

 

I found a majority of the stories quite entertaining; one or two were very good, memorable and well-written; and a few a little dull to the point that I had to skip ahead. Luckily, the benefit of this format is that you can pick and choose what to read. Sometimes I persisted with a story a little too long, so I'd recommend dropping them if you're not into it right away. They don't all come with a decent plot or developed characters, and quite a few felt to me like they were straining to fit the genre of "mystery" at all. But those that grabbed me were sufficiently entertaining for a light read. There are some funny stories, some tragic, some off-the-wall, but none all too strong in any direction.

 

Tying the volume together is that each chapter is set in or based around an iconic Manhattan neighborhood. I liked recognizing the different places, monuments, cultural references and time periods as those I'd passed through myself in the city. Definitely a fun idea. My main criticism is simply that not all of them were powerful enough plots (few twists and turns, for instance) for what could have been a great compendium of true mystery and suspense.

 

If you're looking to dip in and out of some fun stories, I'd highly recommend checking it out from a library (like I did) or pick it up second-hand.