|I can't think of anybody better qualified to edit an
anthology of supernatural mystery stories than Charlaine Harris. These days she is perhaps
best known for her Sookie Stackhouse novels (the basis of the TV Series True Blood). But
before she shot to the top of the vampire best seller lists, she wrote quite a lot of very
respectable straightforward mystery novels with not a trace of woo-woo in them at all.
anthology has been produced by the Mystery Writers Of America. The contributors are all
mystery writers with little or no experience of writing supernatural stories. Given such a
lack of familiarity with the conventions of the genre you might logically expect that the
collection would consist of cliches, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Charlaine Harris has exercised firm control over her writers, ruthlessly plucking out and
disgarding cliches wherever she could find them and the end result is an anthology of
surprising originality. I think that the very lack of genre familiarity has brought a
freshness to the stories that is often lacking in the more jaded stories of those who do
this kind of thing for a living. Perversely Charlaine Harris' own story is probably the
weakest in the collection!
In short, this anthology is a very strong collection of first rate stories. Charlaine
Harris has done a superb editing job.