“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”
-Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
-Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
“The girl gave him a look which ought to have stuck at least four inches out of his back.”
-Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
“The problem with putting two and two together is that sometimes you get four, and sometimes you get twenty-two.”
-Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man
“We didn't exactly believe your story, Miss O'Shaughnessy, we believed your 200 dollars. I mean, you paid us more than if you had been telling us the truth, and enough more to make it alright.”
-Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
“I spent most of my dough on booze, broads and boats… and the rest I wasted.”
-Elmore Leonard, LaBrava
“There were not so many physical threats that could not be countered with a decent hammer.”
-Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played With Fire
“The dead have never bothered me. It's the living that I fear.”
-Patricia Cornwell, Postmortem
“The hard thing about death is that nothing ever changes. The hard thing about life is that nothing stays the same.”
-Sue Grafton, J is for Judgment
“There is nothing you can do about the past except keep it there.”
-Michael Connelly, The Brass Verdict
“There is no client as scary as an innocent man.”
-Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer
“Woe to he who checkmates his opponents at last, only to discover they have been playing cribbage.”
-Jedediah Berry, The Manual of Detection
“The joke was thinking you were ever really in charge of your life. You pressed your oar down into the water to direct the canoe, but it was the current that shot you through the rapids."
-Scott Turow, Innocent
“They found out about him in July and stayed angry all through August. They tried to kill him in September."
-Lee Child, Without Fail
“Put all your eggs in one basket... the handle's going to break. Then all you've got is scrambled eggs.”
-J.D. Robb, Remember When
“It doesn't have to make sense; it just has to sound like it does.”
-Elmore Leonard, Freaky Deaky
“He was too old to be working, too young to be dead, and too broke to do anything else.”
-Chris Culver, Just Run
“Love, when you get fear in it, it's not love any more. It's hate.”
-James M. Cain, The Postman Always Rings Twice
“Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service.”
-Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White
“It takes far less courage to cling to the past than it does to face the future.”
-Sandra Brown, Envy
“Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.”
-Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“If you place your head in a lion's mouth, then you cannot complain one day if he happens to bite it off.”
-Agatha Christie
“I have great faith in fools … my friends call it self-confidence.”
-Edgar Allan Poe

The Best American Mystery Stories Series

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The Best American Mystery Stories 1997
Edited by Otto Penzler and Robert B. Parker

For many years, some of the most vital, creative, and exciting fiction published in America...

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The Best American Mystery Stories 1998
Edited by Sue Grafton and Otto Penzler

This year's guest editor, Sue Grafton, has put together a wonderfully diverse collection of...

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Best American Mystery Stories 1999
Edited by Ed McBain and Otto Penzler

In its brief existence, The Best American Mystery Stories has established itself as a peerless...

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The Best American Mystery Stories 2000
Edited by Otto Penzler and Donald E. Westlake

From exceptional stories chosen by Penzler, Westlake has selected the twenty best, including...

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The Best American Mystery Stories 2001
Edited by Lawrence Block and Otto Penzler

Best-selling author Lawrence Block is one of the mystery genre’s most prolific authors, with...

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The Best American Mystery Stories 2002
Edited by Otto Penzler, James Ellroy

Since its inception in 1915, the Best American series has become the premier annual showcase...

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The Best American Mystery Stories 2003
Edited by Otto Penzler and Michael Connelly

This seventh installment of the premier mystery anthology boasts pulse-quickening stories from...

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The Best American Mystery Stories 2004
Edited by Otto Penzler and Nelson DeMille

Assembled by best-selling suspense author Nelson DeMille, The Best American Mystery Stories...

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The Best American Mystery Stories 2005
Edited by Joyce Carol Oates and Otto Penzler

The Best American Mystery Stories 2005 includes: Scott Turow • Edward P. Jones • Louise...

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The Best American Mystery Stories 2006
Edited by Scott Turow and Otto Penzler

"[Most of] these stories are portraits, in styles ranging from sly to harrowing, of how crimes...

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The Best American Mystery Stories 2007
Edited by Otto Penzler and Carl Hiaasen

The best-selling author Carl Hiaasen takes the reins for the eleventh edition of this series,...

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The Best American Mystery Stories 2008
Edited by George Pelecanos and Otto Penzler

The award-winning author and Emmy-nominated television writer George Pelecanos serves as...

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The Best American Mystery Stories 2009
Edited by Jeffrey Deaver and Otto Penzler

Best-selling novelist Jeffery Deaver edits this latest collection of the genre's finest from...

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The Best American Mystery Stories 2010
Edited by Lee Child

Featuring twenty of the year's standout crime short stories handpicked by one of the world's...

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Best American Mystery Stories 2011
Ed. Harlan Coben, Otto Penzler

Best-selling novelist Harlan Coben, a master of suspense and creator of the critically-acclaim...

For each book, we provide direct links to the online bookstore of your choice. Just click Go To. To learn more about a book, click its cover or title. Click Series for books that are part of a series and you will see the entire series. Have fun browsing our shelves!