Saturday, January 14, 2006

Murder by Magic, edited by Rosemary Edghill

Murder by Magic: Twenty Tales of Crime and the Supernatural, edited by Rosemary Edghill

Detective stories and tales of magic, two of my favorite genres combined. A with most short story collections, this one is hit and miss. A Night at the Opera by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller was my favorite tale, describing a place where magic is simply another profession. This had really interesting people (okay, so they were blatant rip-offs of Nick and Nora Charles but still fun) and a compelling plot; I hope other tales in this universe appear at some point. Murder Entailed by Susan Krinard is another solid tale that I’d like to see explored in more depth, a place where extraordinary abilities are hereditary. At the other end of the spectrum was Snake in the Grass by Susan R. Matthews. The main character was whiny and the mystery painfully obvious from the very start. Yuck. All in all, like most short story collections this was uneven but enjoyable.

First Sentence (from the introduction):
It is a truism of publishing that sooner or later every author wants to commit murder, and I have proof: a new take on the mean streets from Laura Resnick, a charmingly chilling story from Carole Nelson Douglas, alternate police procedurals from Josepha Sherman and Keith DeCandido—detectives amateur, private, and decidedly outside the law, in settings ranging from the haunted galleries of Elizabethan England to the worlds of the Eraasian Hegemony.

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