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A Hell of a Woman: An Anthology of Female Noir    edited by Megan Abbott order for
Hell of a Woman
by Megan Abbott
Order:  USA  Can
Busted Flush, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

If you like your mysteries as noir as they can get, then A Hell of a Woman will be your cup of tea ... or maybe your Scotch on the rocks with a splash and a beer chaser. This anthology, edited by Megan Abbott, contains short stories from writers who are already probably among your favorites - Annette Meyers, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Sandra Scoppettone, and S. J. Rozan, to name a few.

These tales are down and dirty, no holds barred. Four letter words scurry through them with great abandon. Inappropriate behavior abounds, to satisfy any mystery appetite. All methods of murder appear. All manner of woman is depicted.

Short stories are hard to write, but once the writer gets the hang of it, they can be great fun to create. I believe these writers had a great deal of fun letting their imaginations run away with them. No manner of death is sacrosanct. No amount of blood is enough. Unattached body parts are incidental. The leads are not women I would want to meet on a dark street at night - or on a busy street in broad daylight, for that matter.

They all live life by their own standards legal or not. They achieve their goals by whatever mayhem it takes. Looking out for number one is the only important thing on their agendas. Let the other guys look out for themselves. Interesting, exciting plots make for a thrilling read in A Hell of a Woman.

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