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A Moment on the Edge: 100 Years of Crime Stories by Women

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  402 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
Whether the story is a murder mystery, a tale of suspense, a psychological study of the characters affected by a devastating event, a courtroom drama, a police procedural ... the question remains the same. Why crime? Why exists this fascination with crime and why, above all, exists this fascination with crime on the part of female writers?
-- Elizabeth George


Published June 29th 2004 by HarperCollins (first published November 2001)
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Teresa TL Bruce
Jun 11, 2010 Teresa TL Bruce rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Recommended to Teresa TL by: its own cover, on the library shelf
This collection of "crime" stories ran the gamut from amusing to disturbing. The twenty-seven authors represented each have a unique style, and the biographical introductions highlight each writer's strengths and best-known works.

Caution: If you don't want to add more authors and titles to your "to read" list then you should avoid reading this collection. By the time I finished I added fifteen more authors to my own list.
Jul 06, 2014 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another anthology of mystery and crime stories, these by women. This volume was edited by Elizabeth George. I love her attitude towards crime fiction:

"One man at a writing conference told me that he was going to write crime fiction as practice and then, later on, he would write a 'real novel.'

'Like making tacos until you can graduate to chocolate cake from scratch?' I asked him innocently."

Like Ms George says, "For my money, literature is whatever lasts." I strongly recommend reading her introd
A good, if standard, collection. Some stories too long for an anthology like this. Leaving out Joyce Carol Oates would have made room for several, younger writers. Still it is good to trace the expansion of women writers and protagonists in this field. Reminded me to go read more Minette Walters.
May 26, 2017 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anthology of brilliant stories by 27 women crime writers. I liked the biographical introductions to each story. I found a bunch of authors that I want to read more of.
Jun 14, 2012 B.V. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author Elizabeth George, best known for her Inspector Lynley mysteries, selected 26 crime stories by women authors for the anthology A Moment on the Edge: 100 Years of Crime Stories by Women (2002). In her introduction, George analyzes how and why people have been fascinated with crime stories since ancient times and takes to task those critics of the genre who believe crime writing is a lesser form of literary endeavor. The stories George chose certainly make a strong argument for their inclusi ...more
Feb 15, 2017 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good compilation and I think I found some new authors that I am interested in. I would give it a higher rating but the problem with so many short stories is that many are forgettable, but the ones that stand out are totally worth the read.
Feb 04, 2011 Elena rated it really liked it
I enjoyed most of these stories but noticed that as they became more modern (i. e. written by contemporary women), in general they became less interesting. Or maybe it was that the murders became more gruesome and somehow more commonplace, like tv murders? Almost all the women had interesting plot twists and some were really creepy (Joyce Carol Oates' was especially hard to read). But I guess I prefer that mood of mystery in the past.
Apr 25, 2010 JUDY ANN rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Feb 27, 2017 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
"A Moment on The Edge" by Elizabeth George is a compilation of short mystery stories by accomplished women novelists. Each story is accompanied by a brief bio of the writer and her place among top mystery writers. I was pleasantly surprised to discover several of my favorite authors are among the highly rated. I was also introduced to additional writers I want to read. Just as important, the book identified at least one author I'll skip. Not because she isn't a good writer but because the subjec ...more
Celeste Hogan
This collection of short stories is arranged chronologically according to publication date. The first half of the book is excellent; however, my enthusiasm evaporated with the second half. A couple of the more modern tales were well written, but they lacked the extra dimension I enjoyed in the earlier ones. They seemed to revolve around social issues or individual angst rather than a mystery, or at least a puzzle of some sort. Since I had read three stories before, I gave this book three stars f ...more
Aaron Meier
I'll start by saying, I've not been a big reader of short stories. I thought I'd give it another go and unfortunately I don't think they are my wheelhouse.

That being said, some interesting reads, but nothing that made me want to read more by any particular author.

Still, greatly appreciated the bio information on the writers to help contextualize the stories.
May 15, 2017 Alexis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
The first story was the most interesting to me. I wish there was more consistency in theme between stories; yes, they are all written by women, but that's all they have in common, and I didn't feel that was enough for a consistent theme. The very first story and the one about the young couple in South Africa were the most interesting to me.
Feb 18, 2017 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a series of crime short stories written by women in the last 100 years. The stories are largely well-written, with a varied quality of surprise outcomes. My favorite one was the woman in Victorian England who was convinced she was married to Jack the Ripper. I won't give the ending away, but it's incredible and unexpected.
Mar 06, 2017 Hind rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the short stories from the first half of the century, but it starts to go downhill once it gets to the 60s. I had to skip some of the more modern stream-of-consciousness style stories.
Georgia Carvalho
This compilation of crime stories by women has some great pieces, but I found myself enjoying the older, more classic stories way more than the contemporary ones. Probably just a reflection of my taste. If you are looking for short crime stories, do give this volume a go.
Feb 26, 2017 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So much good reads in one place. Since I am familiar with most of these writers in novel format, it was fun to read the short stories .
Susan Blumberg
Mar 07, 2017 Susan Blumberg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful collection

Amazing assortment of mysteries, thrillers and creepy stories! Beautifully written and very absorbing. I read them straight through and wither there were more.
Feb 15, 2017 Lila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
interesting collection with an introduction to some writers I hadn't known before
May 04, 2017 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found this useful for finding new (to me) authors in a genre I already like. I enjoyed half the stories in this anthology.
May 07, 2017 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great stories. Especially like the prologue by the author providing some information and history of the story authors.
Feb 11, 2017 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the stories are great by great authors.
Some great stories (only a few that really stuck out - The Summer People was one), but some really bad ones as well.
Mar 17, 2017 Alyssa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great collection of crime stories accompanied by intros to the authors before each story. Interesting to read about each author and her place in the overall "crime writing" continuum of the last century or so. Obviously, some stories were better than others, but the variety and the range from slightly spooky to the macabre to downright disturbing kept it interesting.
Feb 26, 2017 Pamela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An uneven collection. Overall, the best are the stories written in the 70s and earlier. The worst? The absolute worst was "The Case of Pietro Andromache" by Paretsky. It was so bad, I couldn't get more than a few pages into it--bad writing, bad dialog, bad characters, bad set-up...Just plain BAD.

The best? The best was "Death of a Snowbird" by J. A. Jance. I read a lot, so one of my main ways of judging the quality of a book or a story is how long it stays with me before being "over-written" by o
Mar 02, 2017 Luci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun and broad collection of mystery stories. The big names were included and the variety of tales was entertaining. This would be a great introduction to anyone interested in the genre.
Debbie O'Mahony
Feb 15, 2017 Debbie O'Mahony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great collection of short crime/mystery stories by women authors within the last 100 years. Some stories were more appealing to me than others, but all were very good. Although I was familiar with many of the authors, there were many more that I had not heard of and will now use this book as a reference of good authors when I go to the library. Highly recommend this book for lovers of mystery fiction!
Janet Paventy
99 cents
Nov 17, 2013 Cat. rated it really liked it
First of all, if George really did do the editing, her copyeditor sleepwalked, or just rubber-stamped. The layout of this book was atrocious: paragraphs were generally indented, but frequently they weren't, there were punctuation errors....grrr.

ANYWAY. The stories themselves were good. Really good. A wonderful introduction to some authors I've never heard of, along with some "old friends." Of the latter, there were a couple of stories I had read elsewhere, which just goes to show that I'm a sho
Jun 25, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth George has curated an amazing selection of stories here, from women who identify themselves as mystery/crime writers to those who are considered more literary or mainstream by lit critics. I love what she says in the introduction: that the crime is the skeleton of the story, and writers can choose to hang characterization, theme, mood, and cultural criticism off of that skeleton. I feel like that is exactly what George does in her own novels, which are each a complete body, nowhere nea ...more
Mar 28, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
So far so good. I'm enjoying the chronological progression of the writing styles and voices. I'm also (finally!) reading some of the great mystery masters like Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. This collection also features stories by several contemporary authors like Sara Paretsky, Sharon McCrumb, J.A. Jance, and Nancy Pickard. Some of my personal favorites were the stories by Ruth Rendell, Barbara Paul, Wendy Hornsby, and Minette Walters. These authors (other than Rendell) are all new to me a ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Susan Elizabeth George is an American author of mystery novels set in Great Britain. Eleven of her novels, featuring her character Inspector Lynley, have been adapted for television by the BBC as The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.

She was born in Warren, Ohio, but moved to the S
More about Elizabeth George...

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