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Magnolias and Mayhem

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A collection of 14 short stories from some of the best mystery authors writing about the South today. The collection includes Margaret Maron, Carolyn G. Hart, Dean James, Deborah Adams, Elaine Fowler Palencia, and Toni LP Kelner. About The Author Jeffrey Marks is the editor of a number of mystery anthologies include the Canine series. His short fiction has appeared in a number A collection of 14 short stories from some of the best mystery authors writing about the South today. The collection includes Margaret Maron, Carolyn G. Hart, Dean James, Deborah Adams, Elaine Fowler Palencia, and Toni LP Kelner. About The Author Jeffrey Marks is the editor of a number of mystery anthologies include the Canine series. His short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. He also writes for a number of magazines including Technology Decisions. He writer from Cincinnati where he lives with his Scottish terrier.


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A collection of 14 short stories from some of the best mystery authors writing about the South today. The collection includes Margaret Maron, Carolyn G. Hart, Dean James, Deborah Adams, Elaine Fowler Palencia, and Toni LP Kelner. About The Author Jeffrey Marks is the editor of a number of mystery anthologies include the Canine series. His short fiction has appeared in a number A collection of 14 short stories from some of the best mystery authors writing about the South today. The collection includes Margaret Maron, Carolyn G. Hart, Dean James, Deborah Adams, Elaine Fowler Palencia, and Toni LP Kelner. About The Author Jeffrey Marks is the editor of a number of mystery anthologies include the Canine series. His short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. He also writes for a number of magazines including Technology Decisions. He writer from Cincinnati where he lives with his Scottish terrier.

34 review for Magnolias and Mayhem

  1. 5 out of 5

    Werner

    Note, April 3, 2015: I edited this just now to correct a misspelled word. Since I wrote this review, I've learned to proofread them a bit better (I hope!). While visiting a cousin who's also an avid reader, I originally stumbled on this themed anthology of mysteries, written by Southern writers and set in the South, in her bookshelves. I was so taken with it that when I left, I borrowed her copy so I could finish it; it's one of the best mystery collections I've come across. Most of the stories w Note, April 3, 2015: I edited this just now to correct a misspelled word. Since I wrote this review, I've learned to proofread them a bit better (I hope!). While visiting a cousin who's also an avid reader, I originally stumbled on this themed anthology of mysteries, written by Southern writers and set in the South, in her bookshelves. I was so taken with it that when I left, I borrowed her copy so I could finish it; it's one of the best mystery collections I've come across. Most of the stories were originally written for the collection; three were originally published elsewhere, the oldest in 1991. So editor Marks (who also contributes a story) is presenting relatively fresh material that most mystery fans won't have encountered before. Most of the authors' names were new to me (and I'm a librarian who reads reviews); but Margaret Maron and Carolyn G. Hart are well-known practitioners of the genre. Despite the common feature of Southern provenance, the stories are quite diverse (as the South itself has always been): the settings can be either urban or rural, the sleuths may be male or female, the crimes may be traditional and rooted in the Southern past or very contemporary in their feel, and the tones can range from humorous to very dark indeed. Not all of the mysteries involve homicide; Toni L. P. Kelner's "An Unmentionable Crime," for instance, deals with the disappearance of a pair of panties in a small-town lingerie shop (that's one of the humorous ones --and the humor is sweet rather than raunchy), and Andrew Kantor's "One Man's Treasure" is one of the more engaging buried-treasure mysteries that I've read. Urban black life is featured in "Clackin' the Bones," by the writing team of Noreen Ayres and A. B. Robinson; that one comes the closest to the noir school in its subject matter, but it lacks the noir cynicism, being morally- grounded and life-affirming instead (and portrays the role of the black church very sympathetically). Probably the two darkest tales here are "Marti's Secrets" by Grant Devereaux, which is technically more "crime fiction" than a mystery per se (and which makes excellent use of the technique of the surprise ending!) and Taylor McCafferty's "Chatty Patty." In the latter, a female P.I. investigates the double murder of a woman and her five-year-old adopted daughter --a case the detective learns may have a very real unexpected personal significance for her. The grimness of the subject matter is eased by McCafferty's compassionate narrative voice and the appeal of her protagonist --I wouldn't mind seeing Bess as a series character. Both Maron and Jeff Abbott mar stories featuring their series sleuths (Judge Deborah Knott and librarian Jordan Poteet, respectively) with gratuitous, puerile narrative jabs at non-Democrats, which serve only to highlight the mental narrowness of the writers and offend a large number of readers. But the stories themselves, despite this flaw, are otherwise excellent. The only relatively weak entry here, IMO, is Mark's own, "Under Siege" (also the only historical mystery in the book), set during the Civil War siege of Vicksburg, which casts Gen. Grant as an amateur sleuth. Overall, I would consider this an outstanding collection, and heartily recommend it to mystery fans --from North, South, East and West! :-)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Some of my favorite authors contributed stories to this collection--reason enough to read it. And, as with all collections, there's also the chance of discovering new authors. The overriding theme of this book is southern writers, and there are certainly a lot of good ones included. Some of my favorite authors contributed stories to this collection--reason enough to read it. And, as with all collections, there's also the chance of discovering new authors. The overriding theme of this book is southern writers, and there are certainly a lot of good ones included.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    A diverse collection of short story mysteries, set in the south. All well written and easily enjoyed , even by those of us not from the south!! My favorites include "An Unmentionable Crime" by Toni L.P. Kelner, and "One Man's Treasure" by Andrew Kantor. A diverse collection of short story mysteries, set in the south. All well written and easily enjoyed , even by those of us not from the south!! My favorites include "An Unmentionable Crime" by Toni L.P. Kelner, and "One Man's Treasure" by Andrew Kantor.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tisha White

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shoehn

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cassonia

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  8. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Parvin-part deux

  10. 4 out of 5

    Eldon

  11. 5 out of 5

    Foxy Grandma

  12. 4 out of 5

    Edel

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carroll

  14. 5 out of 5

    Inithello

  15. 5 out of 5

    Caitlyn

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joseph-Daniel Peter Paul Abondius

  17. 5 out of 5

    Terri

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

  19. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Morgan

  20. 5 out of 5

    Abbey

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shirley

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

  24. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karen K. Miller

  26. 4 out of 5

    Erika

  27. 4 out of 5

    Yinzadi

  28. 4 out of 5

    Em

  29. 4 out of 5

    L. PenDragyn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mamat

  31. 4 out of 5

    Babette

  32. 4 out of 5

    Miza Peters

  33. 5 out of 5

    Bunny Ripper

  34. 4 out of 5

    Bianca

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