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Murder at the Foul Line    edited by Otto Penzler order for
Murder at the Foul Line
by Otto Penzler
Order:  USA  Can
Mysterious Press, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Love basketball? I've got the book for you. Don't give a fig for basketball? I have the book for you too. Like to read and try to solve murder mysteries? I have just the book for you. Murder at the Foul Line is a compilation of murder mysteries edited by Otto Penzler. Who better than Penzler to choose really good stories from really good crime fiction writers and put them together in book form?

Starting with a short story by Lawrence Block, the list of authors reads like a Who's Who in the mystery field: Parnell Hall, Michael Malone, Laurie R. King, Joan and Robert B. Parker, Jeffrey Deaver, Sue DeNymme, Brenda DuBois, Mike Lupica, George Pelacanos, R. D. Rosen, S. J. Rozen, Justin Scott and Stephen Solomita. Whether dribbling in the schoolyard, shooting hoops in the backyard, throwing free shots in the high school gym, calling fouls in a sports arena or playing for life in the half-way house run by the state, every mystery revolves one way or the other around basketball. They all have well written plots, with fully rounded characters; some of whom you'd like to know and others you're glad you don't.

Short stories are not that easy to write. The author must contrive a plot, throw in a few characters with attitudes, set the scene of the crime and solve it - all with very few well-chosen words. The above authors have done that and more. They have produced enjoyable and satisfying hours of delightful reading with scenarios that are fresh and pertinent.

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