Once Upon A Crime
Ed: Gary Bush & Chris Everheart
Pub. By Nodin Press, Mpls, MN
256 pages, Sept, 2009, Trade Paper
As with many collections of short stories by Crime authors, this one is a mixed bag, quality wise. It contains several really nice, taut, economic stories which are entertaining, surprising and a pleasure to read. There are others which don’t quite measure up, although all of them are readable. The anthology was conceived as a way to provide some financial support for the popular co-owner of one of the best mystery books stores in the nation. Indeed, Once Upon A Crime, the store for which the anthology is named, has been voted by readers of CrimeSpree magazine, the best independent mystery bookstore in the entire country.
I wish this anthology achieved that distinction. It comes close. The stories are widely varied by a motley collection of new and experienced crime writers. It is, as I have said, entertaining, but its greatest value may be in that it introduces readers to a range of writers and the quality of their work. Among the writers are several award winners of note, including William Kent Krueger, Reed Farrell Coleman, Max Allen Collins, Gary Phillips and David Housewright. It’s a good value.