I am a fan of both short stories and mysteries, so The Best American Mystery Stories 2011 was bound to pique my curiosity. This year’s collection was edited by Harlan Coben, so I knew this would be a good set of stories.
Surprisingly, I think my favorite story was The End of the String by Charles McCarry. This story involves an American in Ndala who becomes involved with a military man wishing to overthrow the president. This is not a topic I would normally seek out, but what a storyteller! I was completely drawn into the plot.
I also enjoyed Destiny City by James Grady, which centers around a terrorist plot. I am not one to seek out terroristic or political crime stories, but I found that I enjoyed all of them in this collection.
My second favorite story in this collection was The Hitter by Chris F. Holm. The Hitter is about a hit man who kills other hit men. This hit man contracts with potential victims to profit off the fact that he can save their lives by killing their would be assassins. Eventually, his chosen profession catches up to him.
Flying Solo by Ed Gorman is about two elderly men who befriend one another while receiving chemo treatment, and together they become vigilantes, fighting injustices.
Honorable mentions include Who Stole My Monkey? by David Corbett and Luis Alberto Urrea, A Crime of Opportunity by Ernest J. Finney and The Stars Are Falling by Joe R. Lansdale. I discovered many new authors through this collection, as well as an interest in subject matter that I would not normally seek out in my reading.
Many thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with a copy to review, via NetGalley.