Hooray, a guest lesbrarian! We haven’t had one of those for a while. This review is from allis, and you can find her on Livejournal here. Thanks, allis!
Women of Mystery
An anthology by Katherine V. Forrest
The « Sound » of Music by Joan M. Drury
The Last Minute by Lisa Liel
Elsie Riley by Martha Miller
A Leopard‘s Spots Katherine V. Forrest
Let Sleeping Cats Lie by Jeane Harris
House Built of Sticks by J.L. Belrose
Never Drop By by Diana McRae
The Intersection of Camp and St. Mary by J.M. Redmann
Two Left Shoes by Carole Spearin McCauley
Like a Sore Thumb by Randye Lordon
Speeding Cars by Karla Jay
Violation by Victoria A. Brownworth
Murder on Chuckanut Drive by Ouida Crozier
Phantoms by Ursula Steck
As the title let it guess, all those stories have female lead character, usually lesbian character, and all the stories involve some kind of mystery. They are indeed all intriguing in their own way and pull the reader in right from the start and doesn’t let it go until the very end. There is no way you can stop in the middle of a story. You have to know how it ends, you have to know who killed who, why all those secrets, is she really a werewolf, etc…
The opening lines are really great and make you plunge into the story from the very first words as you can see in those few examples :
« I started to suspect she was a werewolf on our first date » (Let Sleeping Cats Lie by Jeane Harris)
« I need you to solve a mystery for me » (The Intersection of Camp and St. Mary by J.M. Redmann)
The first time you get kidnapped can ruin your evening. (Two Left Shoes by Carole Spearin McCauley)
The authors have all very different interpretations for the word « mystery » and you are sure to be surprised by some of them. There are classic crime, fantasy story, ghost story, family story, funny story, etc… No story is like another. As a fan a diversity when I read an anthology, I really enjoyed that part of the book.
Though well written most of the stories didn’t stick with me. I had to return to the first lines to remember what the story was about. This anthology is a quick read, ideal when you have to wait somewhere, in the train, or just want to read a bit of mystery at night.
It was a nice easy read, but it definitely is not an anthology I’ll remember much. But maybe it’s just because I’m not that much into mystery stories in general…
There was really only one story I didn’t like much. It was Violation by Victoria A. Brownworth. It’s not that it was badly written but I just didn’t like the theme of it much. I thought it was a bit more serious, a bit darker than the other stories too.
My favourites are Elsie Riley by Martha Miller for it atmosphere and really open ending, Let Sleeping Cats Lie by Jeane Harris for all it surprises, House Built of Sticks by J.L. Belrose for the family drama seen through the eyes of a child who doesn‘t really get all that is happening, The Intersection of Camp and St. Mary by J.M. Redmann for its humour and Murder on Chuckanut Drive by Ouida Crozier for its main character and general atmosphere.
I would rate this anthology 7/10.
Have you read Women of Mystery or something like it? What did you think of it?