Monday, February 05, 2007

Best mystery anthologies

David Lehman, editor of The Oxford Book of American Poetry and author of The Perfect Murder: A Study in Detection, named the "four finest mystery anthologies, and one vital guide" for Opinion Journal.

One title on his list:
A New Omnibus of Crime edited by Tony Hillerman and Rosemary Herbert (Oxford, 2005)

This recent anthology boldly evokes the title of Dorothy Sayers's classic anthology of 1920. The editors aim to showcase the work of the four-score-and-seven years since. Here you'll find the whole gamut, from the tough-guy patter of hard-boiled Raymond Chandler ("He looked tough, but he looked as if he thought he was a little tougher than he was") to the more decorous detection practiced by Miss Sayers. Among the writers in between: The underrated Fredric Brown, representing the down-and-out world of noir, in which temptation can't be resisted, failure is inevitable and well-educated family men can become bums overnight, "suddenly, for no reason you can define."
Read about all five titles recommended by Lehman.

--Marshal Zeringue