Saturday, June 13, 2015

Review: Manhattan Mayhem: New Crime Stories from Mystery Writers of America edited by Mary Higgins Clark


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Best-selling suspense novelist Mary Higgins Clark invites you on a tour of Manhattan's most iconic neighborhoods in this anthology of all-new stories from the Mystery Writers of America. From the Flatiron District (Lee Child) and Greenwich Village (Jeffery Deaver) to Little Italy (T. Jefferson Parker) and Chinatown (S.J. Rozan), you'll encounter crimes, mysteries, and riddles large and small. Illustrated with iconic photography of New York City and packaged in a handsome hardcover,Manhattan Mayhem is a delightful read for armchair detectives and armchair travelers alike!
MY TAKE:
This book combined two things I love (New York and mysteries) in the best way possible.

Manhattan Mayhem: New Crime Stories from Mystery Writers of America contains several mysteries set in various eras and areas of New York.

I had high hopes for this book and it did not disappoint. First of all, I loved the photographs and mini-maps that accompanied each story. If you're a non-New York native or you're only familiar with the names and not so much with which streets that area corresponds to exactly, you'll find the maps invaluable. As for the black-and-white photographs, they were a great way to set the mood.

All of the short stories were fun to read, to the point that for most of them, I was enjoying myself too much to actively try and figure out the solution to the mystery.

There were lots of stories here, but there were a few that I found memorable. The first story, written by Mary Higgins Clark, was one of those. I wasn't sure at first what direction The Five Dollar Dress, set in Union Square, was going at first, especially in relation to the teaser mentioned in the introduction. When the answer was revealed, I was surprised and creeped out, but in a good way.

Three Little Words, set in the Upper West Side, had twists, turns and red herrings that left me almost breathless. Serial Benefactor, set a little bit in the Empire State Building, had a cool plot that reminded me of in CSI and Elementary when they try to trick the truth out. Copycats, set in Alphabet City, has definite movie potential, though it would probably rated-R.

My absolute favorite, though, would have to be Chin Yong-Yun Makes A Shiddach, which is set in Chinatown, It's not everyday you see a mystery where the one who solves it all is a grandmother. She's a bit of a meddling mother-type but still mostly endearing. If this was made into a mini-series or a series, I think a lot of people would watch this.

Thanks to NetGalley and Quirk Books for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. The mysteries are brilliant.
  2. It features various areas of New York.
  3. The photographs are beautiful.

THE BAD:

  1. There are still plenty of iconic places that weren't covered.  

READ IT IF:

  1. You like anthologies.
  2. You like mysteries.
  3. You love New York. 

RATING:
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