Review: “Ride-Along” by Brendan DuBois

Image Credit In “Ride-Along” by Bendan DuBois, a veteran police officer has agreed to allow a freelance writer to ride long with him on his nightly patrol. When called, to a the scene of a jewelry store robbery, it turns out that everything is not as simple as it seems. …

Review: “Clean Slate” by Lawrence Block

Lawrence Block is a writer I’ve been familiar with for a while. I’ve read a couple of his Bernie Rhodenbarr series and a few short stories, so I had to read “Clean Slate” when I saw it was included in The Best American Mystery Stories 2011. I don’t know what …

Review: “Last Cottage” by Christopher Merkner

We know the Larsons. They come to Slocum Lake each summer. We would like them to stop, but they do not stop. So opens “Last Cottage” by Christopher Merkner, a chilling short story that takes place at a mid-Western lake. The Larsons are out-of-towners who arrive every summer. They are …

Review: “Chin Yong-Yun Takes a Case” by S. J. Rozan

“Chin Yong-Yun Takes a Case” by S. J. Rozan is a light mystery. Yong-Yun’s daughter is a Chinese American private investigator, Lydia Chin, Rozan’s series detective, but in this short story it is Yong-Yun who offers her help. Tan Li-Li plays mahjong with Yong-Yun and her friends, but when she …

Review: The Best American Short Stories 2011, edited by Geraldine Brooks

In her introduction to The Best American Short Stories 2011, Brooks states, “I have always though of literature as a physical matter. A great piece of writing is the one you feel on your skin. It has to do something: Make the heart beat harder of the hairs stand up. …

Review: “Map of the City” by Valerie Laken

Photo credit: BBC News In “Map of the City” the narrator is in some ways a typical Midwestern college-age girl. She’s trying to find her place, fit in, navigate relationships with men, learning how to become her own, independent person, but Laken adds the complexity of Moscow in 1991 to …