Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Review: Manhattan Mayhem edited by Mary Higgins Clark

Title: Manhattan Mayhem
Authors: Mary Higgins Clark, Julie Hyzy, Lee Child, Nancy Pickard, Thomas H. Cook, Brendan DuBois, Jon L. Breen, Ben H. Winters, Angela Zeman, N.J. Ayres, Margaret Maron, Judith Kelman, Persia Walker, T. Jefferson Parker, Justin Scott, S.J. Rozan and Jeffery Deaver.
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2016
Publisher: Quirk Books

Rating 3.5 stars

Book was provided by publisher for an honest review.

Synopsis: Best-selling suspense novelist Mary Higgins Clark invites you on a tour of Manhattan’s most iconic neighborhoods in this anthology of all-new stories from the Mystery Writers of America. From the Flatiron District (Lee Child) and Greenwich Village (Jeffery Deaver) to Little Italy (T. Jefferson Parker) and Chinatown (S.J. Rozan), you’ll encounter crimes, mysteries, and riddles large and small. Illustrated with iconic photography of New York City and packaged in a handsome hardcover, Manhattan Mayhem is a delightful read for armchair detectives and armchair travelers alike!

Before reading this book I had already fallen in love with this external design. With a gorgeous map of the island of Manhattan on the hardcover.

And pages full of beautiful black and white New York photography.
An anthology that centers around different Manhattan locations, full of mystery and crime stories, and gorgeous photography this book sounded exactly like all the things I love. But why did I give this book 3.5 stars?

Manhattan Mayhem is essentially a love letter to New York City. Each story is set in a different Manhattan neighborhood, varying time periods, and people of different ages. Of course with any anthology there are going to be stories that you prefer over others, and some that you didn't like at all. I went into this book quite excited due to the fact that I was happy to finally be getting back into mystery/crime fiction. I've realized that over the years that this a genre that I don't really reach for often so it was great to be exposed to a variety of different authors, but after completing all of these stories I left feeling only mildly satisfied.

Personally, I feel that this book is best to be read at small intervals, rather than just reading all the stories at once. Had I done so maybe I would have enjoyed this anthology much more. Some of these mystery stories vary in length, and are pretty short, one being even seven pages long that it is hard to connect and really get into the story because it is so short, and at times I felt like it sort of cut off at the end. I do commend these authors for being able to tell a mystery story and being able to resolve it, in a matter of a few pages.

My favorite story would have to be Three Little Words by Nancy Pickard that takes place in the Upper East Side and follows a young woman named Priscilla who has only a few weeks to live, but is soon found stabbed to death while going for a walk. The doctor who had given her the news of her terminal cancer, goes to her funeral and soon unravels secrets about her estranged family.

Though that story was short, Nancy Pickard does a fantastic job of really grabbing you in and moving the scenes along so you're constantly on edge, until you reach the end and is aching for more.

I definitely recommend if you are interested in reading Manhattan Mayhem to read it at small intervals and savor each story, and admire and become quickly creeped out by all the wonders and terrors that these authors have to offer.

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