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The Mystery Writers of America Presents The Mystery Box

(Mystery Writers of America Anthology)

3.19  ·  Rating details ·  453 ratings  ·  87 reviews
There's nothing more mysterious than a locked box. Whether it's a literal strongbox, an empty coffin, the inner workings of a scientist's mind, or an underground prison cell, there are those who will use any means necessary to unlock the secrets of...THE MYSTERY BOX.

With this anthology, bestselling author Brad Meltzer introduces twenty-one original stories from today's mos
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2013)
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3.19  · 
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 ·  453 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, anthology
An anthology with the theme that each story has to feature a mystery box of some kind. I wasn't too thrilled with any of the stories, to tell the truth. As a whole, they were very predictable. even though there were some fairly prominent authors involved. Maybe the editor should have been more involved.
This was an excellent collection of short stories, each featuring a box. It was interesting how many ways there were to work one in & yet still keep a fine story. While some were certainly more to my taste than others, overall they were excellent. Each & every one was very well narrated, too. A few were horror & a couple humorous, but they all had a pretty good mystery. Highly recommended.

Introduction, by Brad Meltzer
The amiable Miss Edith Montague, by Jan Burke
Waco 1982, by Laura Li
Aug 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Overall the authors used a box in a key part of the story, but some did not, which was annoying.

The Amiable Miss Edith Montague by Jan Burke - liked, though was a little confused on why the victim would have allowed the protagonist to see the contents of the box - 4 stars.

Waco 1982 by Laura Lippman - interesting and different - 4 stars.

War Secrets by Libby Fischer Hellman - world war II - too short to care about the characters - 2 stars.

The Vly by C. E. Lawrence - a little spooky, different - 4
Aug 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery buffs, anyone

The introduction says that this is collection of stories that use a mystery box (literal or not) and I suppose that each of them did so. But, like most collections the quality of the stories was uneven. I also found most of them too “breezy”, but that may have more to do with length restrictions than the ability of the authors. As an anthology I give it a Three (3.0) Stars. Below are those stories that I especially liked – it seems that established writers stood out more.

The Amiable Miss Edith M
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some really good, some really great and one that I will never forget.
Years ago I was stunned and haunted forever after by a Stephen King short story called Survivor Type in the Skeleton Crew compilation. I still consider it one of the best stories I have ever read for its brilliant concept and execution but mostly for the audacity to think it up in the first place. It was amazing even for Stephen King. In Mystery Box I found The Hedge which comes awfully close to that same jaw-dropping audacity
Lindsey Silvestrini
This was such an intriguing collection of short mysteries that came together as a great collaboration in The Mystery Box. I normally don’t like short stories for some reason. I think because I like to get more in depth with the characters and the stories. Mysteries seem to be the exception to the rule.

With mysteries, the focus is more on the mystery itself so you’re eager to find out what that is and don’t need 200 pages leading up to it. These stories were all suspenseful and all unique in thei
The theme is box. Each story needed a box in it in some way. And the variations were all over. Quite creative. One of the better short story anthologies I have run across. A couple weren't that appealing to me, but there were a few I would deem excellent and the rest good to very good.
♫ You take the good,
you take the bad,
you take them both,
and there you have,
The Mystery Box. ♫
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, anthology
The Mystery Writers of America Presents The Mystery Box - Mystery Writers of America Anthology

In A Nutshell: 21 Stories with a box as a theme. It's to be expected that some would be better than others. But short story collections are good fun. And it is interesting to see what authors can do with a box. It was not always 'terrifying, funny' or 'suspenseful' as promoted. But some of the tales deserve three stars.

My favourites include the opening story The Amiable Miss Montague by Jan Burke. It's
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
“The Vly, the Vly is dark inside, Where strange and fearsome things may hide Heed my warning, hear the cry— Don’t go nigh the Vly, the Vly.”

Like most books of short stories this one had some great ones and some not so great ones. Because of that, they tend to almost always hover in the three star range. I would give this one a solid 3.5 so I rounded up because it was better than most. The Vly may have been my favorite.

I would certainly recommend this to readers who enjoy mysteries and short st
Kristen Lewendon
Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I love short story anthologies. They give me an opportunity to explore many authors I may not have read before and get an idea what their longer works might be like. I felt this was a very mixed bag. With the stated lead in that all stories in the anthology will have some type of mysterious box contained within their pages, I expected the boxes to be fairly obvious. Some of them were, others were more subtle. Some were so subtle, I couldn’t find the mysterious box in them at all. Part of this co ...more
Ron Hartley
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I only give it a 3-star rating.

This anthology of short stories it's supposed to involve some type of box. In a few of the stories I was confused as to what the box was.

Overall it was entertaining, like most collections of short stories interest is subjective. Some of the stories in this collection were very clever, some were very entertaining, while some just fell flat.

There were two stories that I started it became so bored that I did not even finish. So I don't ruin anything for anybody I wil
Clayton Yuen
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
What are Mystery Novels .... what are Mystery Short Stories?

They are some great and entertaining short stories, and there are some gruesome, heartbreaking occurrences.

Try them if you dare ... some are good, scary, clever ..... some are gruesome!
Alicia Williams
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 009-2018
My high points:

-- Waco 1982 by Laura Lippman,
-- Heirloom by Joseph Finder,
-- The Secret Life of Books by Angela Gerst, and
-- The Birdhouse by Stephen Ross.

The rest of the stories were just okay. Not as many winners as most anthologies.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Ok collection of stories. One I didn't understand; one I absolutely hated.
Reynolds Darke
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Sounded like a good idea for a collection but there is nothing special here.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun mystery anthology with a variety of short stories and narrators.
Roberta Wall
Nov 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Too many strange short stories but must say that the last one by Karin Laughter was really funny.
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
Sometimes a handful of short stories is just what the doctor ordered.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
I made it through 3 stories, they were so boring I decided it wasn't worth it to finish the book.
Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
A box 📦 and different types of ways to be stuck in one. 🔲
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
A few stories are okay, a few unreadable; the very last one made me laugh out loud while I listened to it on my walk!
Sarah Anderson
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really good collection of mystery stories. There was a good mix of humorous, serious, and creepy stories to please every type of mystery reader.
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-review
Some were good, some were meh. None were scary enough to warrant the cover looking like this. Review to come.
Steven Turek
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-story
It is always hard for me to judge a book of short stories because they vary so much. Some of the stories were well done and I really enjoyed them. Others were only okay, and there were a few that I just didn't care for at all. That being said I think it is impossible to accurately rate the book based on the individual works.

Therefore I am going to rate it based on the sum of its parts in the context of what is presented in the introduction of the collection. Specifically that the title of the bo
Sep 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I'm not a huge mystery fan, but I like to pick things up that are outside my usual fare every now and then, and when I saw this pop up as an Audible Daily Deal I jumped at it. (A lot of my books come that way these days.) Like a lot of genre anthologies (Dangerous Women is the one I've read most recently) the quality varies greatly, and it's hard to remember when you're done exactly which stories were best and worst.

Some, like R. L. Stine's (who knew he was still writing!) "High Stakes" are memo
Dec 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Adult readers

In this collection of short stories from the Mystery Writers of America, each one has a box of some sort, the contents of which figure in the telling. The box may be real, figurative, symbolic, and the contents likewise. On of my favorites was by Jan Burke, the first presented. "The Amiable Miss Edith Montague" tells us of a great aunt, who, in the raising of her nephew, Marcus, invents Uncle Gilbert, a man to be the listener to the things a growing boy cannot say--or ask--a woman, no matter how
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, thriller
Jan 2018 reread -- I reread this audio book because it was not marked "finished" in my Audible listings. Some stories I remembered; some I did not. Nothing in the reread requires a change to my initial review.

Nice sampling of stories by quite a few mystery writers. Some I enjoyed; some I did not; and some were just ok. Not everyone followed the rules and used a box, which was rude. But those that did, came up with some very different boxes -- box filled with the real thoughts of the murdered per
Mar 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Mystery Writers of America presents an annual anthology of original stories by prominent mystery writers. This year's collection of 21 short stories centers around a mystery box and each short story displays a wide range of plots and twist.

In Laura Lippman’s “Waco”, a young newspaper report is stuck with a boring assignment to review all of Waco’s hotel’s lost and found articles only to uncover something dark and dangerous. A scheming neighbor frightens the new couple in the neighborhood in .Jo
Apr 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Honestly, there were so many fun stories in here. Many were gripping and transported me to other worlds in just the short story format. There were two stories on the weak side, but the others, I couldn't walk away from. I was laughing! I was crying! I normally hate books that make me cry, but that story felt so authentic!

I really, really, wanted to give the book more stars, but there were just too many unnecessary f-words. It's too bad that there were some selections that had to detract from the
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Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and nine other bestselling thrillers including The Tenth Justice, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, and The President’s Shadow. His newest book, The Escape Artist, debuted at #1 on the bestseller list.
In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller lis

Other books in the series

Mystery Writers of America Anthology (1 - 10 of 43 books)
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  • Maiden Murders
  • Crime for Two
  • Dolls Are Murder : a Mystery Writers of America Anthology
  • For love or money : the 1957 anthology of the Mystery Writers of America
  • The Lethal Sex: the 1959 anthology of the mystery writers of America
  • Tales for a Rainy Night The (14th Mystery Writers of America Anthology)
  • Cream of the crime
  • A Pride of Felons: twenty stories by the members of the Mystery Writers of America
  • Crimes Across the Sea: The 19th Annual Anthology of the Mystery Writers of America
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