The Crooked Road, Vol. 1

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A story in the famous Keller series by Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Lawrence Block provides the first stop in this anthology’s journey along the road taken by professional criminals of mystery fiction. It’s a road that leads back to the gangster’s heyday of Prohibition in stories by multiple Edgar Allan Poe Award winner Doug Allyn, Canadian writer Therese Greenwood, and one of EQMM’s classic contributors, Florence Mayberry. The road also takes some forward turns in time: There’s a thriller by New York Times Editor’s Choice List author Olen Steinhauer about Internet-generated crime and a thoroughly modern grifter’s tale by Gary Phillips. Readers won’t want to miss the humorous byways of the genre either, in stories by Liza Cody, Tom Tolnay, and Helen Tucker; or the rough alleys of a port city in the action-packed cliff-hanger by Barbara Paul. Finally, there’s the dark end of the street, represented by Susan B. Kelly’s third-place winning story from MWA’s Golden Anniversary Contest and Raymond Steiber’s 2003 Edgar Allan Poe Award winner for Best Short Story. Last but certainly not the least of the noir selections is a story from Ireland’s celebrated Ken Bruen. The journey comes to an end with Edgar Allan Poe Award winner Clark Howard’s story of a crook who lives and dies on the back roads of his own hometown.
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