The Mystery Box
Edited by Brad Meltzer
Grand Central Publishing 2013
384 pages

Edited by Brad Meltzer, The Mystery Box is a collection of 21 new, very good to excellent and diverse short stories presented by The Mystery Writers of America.  Set in different times and different places, the theme that unites them is a mostly literal, sometimes figurative box that contains treasures, personal mementos, exciting discoveries, or even people.  Other boxes enclose shameful secrets, or explore the meaning of fear.Mystery Writers of America Presents The Mystery Box on Kindle

Particularly chilling, some stories make your hair stand on end.  A couple make you laugh out loud.  Others thrill with their unique twists that draw you into their clever cons.  Some are surprisingly contemplative and soul searching.  Many involve loss, death, or even murder.  All evoke reader emotion and convey pure entertainment.

Thoroughly enjoyable, there is much good writing here, to haunt, mesmerize, disturb and provide cause for pause.  Do you know your true allies?  (Mad Blood)  What if you witnessed a murder, but were unable to tell?  (The Birdhouse)  What if legends are real?  (The Vly)  What if you lost your mind in the Okefenokee Swamp?  (Karin Slaughter’s Remmy Rothstein Toes the Line is particularly fun.)  What if people found out who you really are?  What if you did?

The reader can sample and explore the variety of literary styles of these established authors, add more  to his or her personal favourites, and maybe seek out a few more novels for the home bookshelf.

The authors featured here are Jan Burke, Laura Lippman, Libby Fischer Hellmann, C.E. Lawrence, Joseph Finder, James O. Born, S.W. Hubbard, Joseph Goodrich, R.T. Lawton, Tom Rob Smith, Mary Anne Kelly, Tony Broadbent, Steve Berry, Angela Gerst, Catherine Mambretti, Stephen Ross, Charles Todd, Jonathan Stone, Katherine Neville, Karin Slaughter, and R.L. Stine

The Mystery Box is well done and highly recommended.