This collection of short murder mysteries, all set in the 1930’s and 1940’s, has a grab bag of quality. A couple of the authors I’ve read some of their full length works and their short stories were well done. A couple of the short stories were good but needed some copy editing. There was one that I did not feel met the quality of the other stories. The following is a highlight of my favorite stories in this one.
100 Miles to Murder by Matthew L. Schoonover is the first in the anthology and I truly enjoyed this one. The detective work is well portrayed and doesn’t reveal the murderer or how it was done too early in the story. This story is the first of this author’s work I’ve read and will be sure to seek other works by this author.
Cue Murder by Jane Risdon was a little more difficult for me to get into. I think that is because the setting is in the movie industry and I have this mental block about Hollywood and actors. But once I picked up the book again and read this story in earnest, then I felt it was worth my time to read and I was entertained even though the I found part of it to be rather cliche, but isn’t that what noir murder mysteries are all about?
Dark At The Top Of The Stairs by Elizabeth Horton-Newton was another story I enjoyed. I’ve read this author before and do like her writing. I like the way she develops her characters and even in this short she was able to develop characters with some depth in very few words.
The Mickey by Neil Douglas Newton was a little different story. Instead of detective work the story centers on a witness to a murder during the depression era. The end is a bit weak but it does wrap up the story neatly, if a bit hurried.
Well I Die Tomorrow and I Can’t Wait by Adam C. Mitchell was another rather different story not so much about a murder and definitely not about any detective work. However, murder is involved. You’ll just have to read it to find out how.
Overall I would recommend this anthology to people who like noir murder mysteries especially if they need something to take with them to read while riding public transportation or waiting in the doctor’s office. There is a good sampling of authors and if you haven’t read other works of theirs you will have pretty good grasp of their writing style and quality. This anthology is currently free on Kindle from Amazon. Definitely worth getting and finding out if you’d like to read more by any of the featured authors.