The only thing I want to be lifeless in a mystery novel is the murder victim.
Unfortunately, the majority of the tales in the 2012 Best America Mystery Stories edited by Robert Crais have lifeless characters, prose, and plots. I am so disappointed. Even though I only paid $1.99 for the Kindle edition I would be happier still if I hadn't bought it at all.
If this had been a real book, it would be on its way to the charity shop.
There are twenty stories featured here and if these are the best that American authors have to offer, it is no wonder I spend my evenings re-reading the tried-and-true Donald Westlake, Agatha Christie, P.D. James, Dorothy Sayers, et al. I was hoping to find a new author or two to enjoy.
I am not convinced that these are really mysteries. They were short stories that maybe were just strange or had a psychological bent but not really straightforward whodunits. In most of the stories I found myself just skimming over the words looking for a startling denouement.
That never happened.
My hopes of finding a new crime novel author to enjoy have been dashed. And that's a real crime.