The Best American Mystery Stories 2003
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The Best American Mystery Stories 2003 (The Best American Mystery Stories)

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  90 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Since its inception in 1915, the Best American series has become the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. For each volume, a series editor reads pieces from hundreds of periodicals, then selects between fifty and a hundred outstanding works. That selection is pared down to twenty or so very best pieces by a guest editor who is wide...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 10th 2003 by Mariner Books (first published October 1st 2003)
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Doing a bit of genre-related research, I recently revisited BAMS 2002 and 2003. As might be expected, both anthologies are mixed bags. The best of these crime/mystery stories offer a refreshing contrast to the stories of, say, Annie Proulx or Donald Ray Pollack — they portray toughness and despair without fetishistic fascination. The worst of these stories flatten into predictable exercises in genre, their characters flattened for the sake of plot, form, structure.

The star of both these antholog...more
My biggest complaint was that not too many of the stories seemed to be actual mysteries. In the intro, Connelly lays out that he has a broad definition of what constitutes a mystery story - yet I was still surprised at how loose the criteria really were. While all of the stories center on a crime, only a few have a mystery feel to them. Overall it felt more like a collection of crime drama stories. It is worth a read for the few gems...or if you like crime stories and are not set on reading myst...more
There were a number of terrific genre bending, disturbing, lyrical and entertaining stories in this collection. I'm a fan of Michael Connelly and it was interesting to see what he liked. The best part of BAMS and BASS series are the comments by the authors at the end of each anthology. I like knowing what the inspiration was and how the work fits in with the rest of the author's work.
Come December, I head for Vrooman's and look for the latest installment in the series. Every year's collection is put together by publisher Otto Penzler and new guest editor (Michael Connelly, in this case). Some years are better than others, but none are dogs. These are great books to bring along while traveling — because they're easier to put down.
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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.

Michael Connelly decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing — a curriculum in which one of his teache...more
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