Two of the Deadliest: New Tales of Lust, Greed, and Murder from Outstanding Women of Mystery
Harper, Jul 21 2009, $25.99
The premise for this entertaining anthology is most crime focuses on two of the seven deadly sins: Lust and Greed with twenty-three contributions ranging the gamut of the crime caper environs. There are no clinkers, but some are super especially those that get to the point of lust and or greed right away while a few are only okay because they take too long to establish the premise or too short to explore the concept. Especially enjoyable is Marcia Talley's "Can You Hear Me Now", which will remind readers of a scene from Annie Hall with Marshal McLuhan, as an odious cell phone user who gets what he deserves. I am personally a sucker for stories containing late writers from long ago (though an overdone sub-genre) like Sherlock Holmes commentaries that enhance the strong entry by Linda Barnes as love hurts in “Catch Your Death" and Wendy Hornsby's “Violinist” virtuoso to Jack London. The best entry is “The Runaway Camel” by Barbara Fryer in which a lusting fan is stalked by a lusting fan. Also fascinating is Patricia Smiley’s “The Offer” in which a woman from the Pacific Northwest comes to Los Angeles to compete for a job that seems perfect until she learns too late the real price of relocation. Overall this is a superb look at lust and greed as seen through the eyes of the Outstanding Women of Mystery.