VJ Books Blog

(Publisher’s Weekly, Mar. 2)

Bestseller Fairstein (Killer Heat) has put together a stellar anthology, presented by the Mystery Writers of America, that will appeal both to contemporary noir fans and devotees of Law & Order. The late Edward Hoch starts things off nicely with “The Secret Session,” a concise whodunit centering on judicial corruption at the appellate level. In Barbara Parker’s deliciously creepy “A Clerk’s Life,” a put-upon law clerk for a major Florida firm stumbles on two murders. Joel Goldman highlights the ethical challenges of criminal defense work in “Knife Fight,” as does Eileen Dunbaugh in “The Letter.” By way of counterpoint, Michele Martinez’s “The Mother” and Morley Swingle’s “Hard Blows” dramatize the challenges prosecutors encounter, even when the defendants they charge are, in fact, guilty. The consistently high quality of the 22 selections will lead many to hope the MWA will sponsor more volumes in this vein. (Apr.)

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