Short Stories

by Joyce Carol Oates
Mysterious Press, June 2017, $25

Dis Mem Ber and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense is a marvelous collection of seven darkly paranoid gothic tales of madness, murder, and tormented adolescence by Joyce Carol Oates. The title story is a revelation of depravity narrated by a preteen Midwestern girl named Jilly. She is thrilled when an older cousin, his relationship to the family dubious, takes a secretive interest in her during a long and lonely summer. When he shows her something terrible, exhibiting a lusty and gleeful excitement in the sharing, she is more afraid of losing his companionship than the danger he represents to her.

“Great Blue Heron” is a sympathetic tale of madness featuring a woman dealing with the untimely death of her husband. The widow’s narration is unreliable and the story’s conclusion is both mysterious and haunting. “The Crawl Space” is the story of a very different widow grieving both her husband and the home they shared. But the secrets of her dead husband, and her suspicion he was involved with other women, pulls her into a darkness where she will likely never emerge.

Ben Boulden
Teri Duerr
5744
Oates
June 2017
dis-mem-ber-and-other-stories-of-mystery-and-suspense
25
Mysterious Press



Jane Langton, William Link, and Peter Lovesey have been chosen as the 2018 Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America (MWA).

MWA’s Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery

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One of my favorite moments in the 1974 version of Murder on the Orient Express comes near the end—and I am not giving away any spoilers here—when the array of passengers are by themselves in the train car

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For those of us who have read mysteries all our lives—I started as a child—those early queens of mysteries probably were our first introduction to the genre.

I cut my reading teeth on Hammett, Chand

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