BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, September 28, 2015

Bea Reviews Manhattan Mayhem, edited by Mary Higgins Clark

Publisher: Quirk Books
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Challenges: NetGalley and Edelweiss ARCs
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit*  | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

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!

Bea's Thoughts:

I love anthologies. You get a mix of stories, a taste for an author's style, and if you're short on time it's a small commitment since you can read stories at your convenience. Of course, the problem with anthologies, especially multi-author ones, is that the quality can vary widely.

In the case of "Manhattan Mayhem", the quality does vary but only one was awful. There are a few gems and the rest are okay. "Three Little Words" by Nancy was a psychological study but also suspenseful, very well done. Higgins Clark's offering, "The Five-Dollar Dress" was unexpected, and also more of a study than an actual mystery. Good but not great were "Red-Headed Stepchild" by Margaret Maron, the author was sneaky and kept me guessing and Justin Scott's story "Evermore" was inventive with a sci fi twist. "Trapped" by Ben Winters however was one I actively disliked; it was pretentious and poorly written.

As for the conceit of setting the stories in different neighborhoods around Manhattan, I don't know Manhattan so I can't vouch for authenticity but some stories were strong on atmosphere while in others it was barely there. Overall, a decent anthology, with stories spanning decades and styles.


  1. I enjoy anthologies too and have discovered favorite authors and series reading them. This sounds like a mixed bag of nuts and one I would be more inclined to pick up from the library :)

  2. yup.. i think i run into that prob with anthologies, but it always makes me want more, and you are right, great way to explore new authors!

  3. Totally agree about anthologies, they are so hit and miss. I am curious about this one though because of the author line up.

  4. I like anthologies because I can get a little taste of authors I haven't read before. While I'm familiar with pretty much all the authors I've only read a few of them so this does sound interesting but I think more of a library read than buying my own copy.

  5. I'm always torn about anthologies. They are a great way to sample writing styles but they can be so hit or miss.


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