Reviewing anthologies is an impossible task -- how to characterize 20 stories from such diverse authors? Still, to generalize about the latest installment of this annual series, the stories contained in it are generally quite good, and readers have several enjoyable hours in store should they chose to pick it up.
It's no surprise that the best stories in the collection are those by the experienced crime fiction stalwarts, including Michael Connelly, Robert Ferrigno and S.J. Rozan. Perhaps the best thing in the book is the contribution from Scott Phillips, an exquisite piece of noir that makes one long for him to write another novel.
Taking a broad view of what constitutes a mystery story, Pelecanos has also included a handful of contributions from writers on the more "literary" side of the spectrum. The best of those are pieces by Alice Munro and Melissa Vanbeck. They may not be crime stories in the strictest sense, but they're excellent nonetheless.
From the Chicago Sun-Times, December 7, 2008