Murder New York Style
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by Randy Kandel
Category: Mystery/Crime Agatha Award Nominee
Description: Watch out for mayhem around every corner in Murder New York Style! Explore Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Westchester, and the Outer Reaches. The twenty-one stories in this anthology are classic New York. Imagine bargain shopping in Chinatown, working in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, belly dancing in a Turkish nightclub, or teaching a course at a diverse New York College. These are some of the circumstances and locations that find murder and mayhem around every corner in Murder New York Style. Several stories are set in the New York of days gone by. Among those, one takes place during a 1913 labor strike, and another explores the effects of the House Un-American Activities Committee on the New York cultural community. One Brooklyn story solves a mystery involving an eighty year old murder and the ghost of a Hessian soldier from the Revolutionary War. The Stories and Authors are: "Pick up Dry Cleaning, Commit the Perfect Murder" by Cynthia Baxter, "Name Tagging" by Randy Kandel, "Mister Right" by Ronnie Klaskin, "Death Will Clean Your Closet" by Elizabeth Zelvin, "La Bruha del Barrio" by R.M. Peluso, "I Love Alana" by Marianna Heusler, "The Knock-off" by Chelle Martin, "Strike Zone" by Terri Farley Moran, "A Voice to Remember" by Margaret Mendel, "Out in the Cold" by Meredith Cole, "NYPDaughter" by Triss Stein, "The House on Lake Place" by Dorothy Mortman, "Murder in the Aladdin's Cave" by Lina Zeldovich, "The Lie" by Anita Page, "A Day at a Time" by Fran Brannigan Cox, "Family Matters" by Peggy Ehrhart, "None of the Above" by Deirdre Verne, "What About Henry?" by Pearl Wolf, "Friendly Witness" by Erica Harth, "Casino Gamble" by Nan Higginson, and "Murder in the Mill" by M.E. Kemp.
eBook Publisher: L&L Dreamspell/L&L Dreamspell, 2007 Spring, Texas
eBookwise Release Date: March 2008
6 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [512 KB]
Reading time: 286-401 min.
Murder New York Style--Review by Kevin R. Tipple 2007--"Regional anthologies, as opposed to ones on a certain literary them or device, seem to be very popular these days. Usually it is a state or a region of the country but in this case it is a city. One would think it would be published by a publisher there. Instead, and what pulled my attention to it in the first place, was the fact that it was done by the same Texas publisher that did Sylvia Dickey's 'Dance On His Grave' novel. L&L Dreamspell seems to be doing a lot of interesting things in a wide variety of areas. Showcasing New York past and present, these twenty one tales by authors of the Sisters in Crime New York/Tri State Chapter contain murder and mayhem in a variety of forms. 'Name Tagging' by Randy Kandel, who pulls double duty as editor and also serves as President of the chapter, revolves around murder and deception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Friendship leads to murder in 'Mister Right' by Ronnie Klaskin in a way you will never see coming. New York very well could be the shopping capital of the world especially in terms of fake goods. A certain knock off purse in 'The Knock Off' by Chelle Martin just might be more trouble than it or the real counterpart is worth. Bodies in the backyard should not appear before ten in the morning--especially on a Saturday. If one does, it would be nice not to have Mrs. Zablonksky living next door. Once she starts screaming about the body in the backyard there is no way Lydia is going to get back to sleep in 'Out In The Cold' by Meredith Cole. Being the adult child of a cop as well as a cop herself isn't easy for Ellie in 'NYPDaughter' by Triss Stein. Such a situation makes one see the world very differently. Lies take on a life of their own in 'The Lie' by Anita Page. It may be forty years later but the lie never went away. Teaching business at Hudson College isn't the background one really needs to catch a test thief in 'None of the Above' by Deirdre Verne. Professor Zoe Johnstone is not about to let that stop her as she hunts for a thief. Also included in this anthology are stories from Cynthia Baxter, Fran Bannigan Cox, Peggy Ehrhart, Erica Harth, Marianna Heusler, Nan Higginson, M. E. Kemp, Margarret Mendel, Terrie Farley Moran, Dorothy Mortman, R. M. Peluso, Pearl Wolf, Lina Zeldovich, and Elizabth Zelvin. The sketches that frame the eight sections of the book were done by Kat (no last name listed) and the cover art was done by Rebecca A. Kandel. Featuring diverse backgrounds and varied settings such as belly dancing in a nightclub, a vice president's office, a mill factory, each story is clearly and distinctively New York. Each story features rich characterizations and an avoidance for the most part of graphic violence. Humor occasionally plays a part in these tales which often unroll at a sedately pace whether set now or far in the past. The result is an anthology that will bring hours of pleasure for those so inclined to partake and serve not only to entertain with mystery but to provide a sort of cultural roadmap to the city."
Murder New York Style--Review by Michele Martinez--"The heart of the city beats in every page of Murder New York Style. These engrossing tales bring to life New Yorkers of every stripe--from control-freak yuppies, to Bowery bums, to rich men with secret lives, mixed up in crimes from the sordid to the desperate. Not to be missed."
Murder New York Style--Review by Evelyn David, Murder Off the Books--"East Side, West Side ... there's murder and mayhem all around the town. Murder New York Style, a bright new anthology, offers mysteries to solve in all five boroughs and beyond. You'll enjoy matching wits with amateur and professional sleuths who are cleaning up the biggest, most baffling crime wave The Big Apple has ever seen. Murder New York Style is a must read for mystery fans."
It was a wet September Wednesday when Gatewill Murpill turned up his coat collar, tightened his back muscles against the East River wind, and pondered why his parents had ever left Jamaica to "better themselves," as they called it. He held a wet Starbucks paper cup under his umbrella and grimaced at the over-roasted, over-sugared, chocolate-dosed coffee. He was longing for the sweet aroma of the fresh picked Jamaican mountain beans, although his family had been too poor to taste them then. He shook his head, remembering, but only briefly and carefully, so that the coffee wouldn't splash as he jogged up the front steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, two at a time.
Now that he was the chief of security for the Met, he was meticulous in his pacing--brisk enough to look assertive and eager, but not so fast that he seemed to be late, or chasing after a crisis. With so much wealth and financial value "trapped," as he called it, under electronically secured, video-monitored, thick glass, nothing ought to disturb the atmosphere of material and intellectual security, especially on the eve of a major international exhibition like "Name Tagging: Ownership of Art Among the Classic Maya."
Stepping out of the private elevator onto the fourth floor of the Michael C. Rockefeller wing of the museum and walking toward the exhibit, Murpill flipped open his Blackberry and noticed that the time was 8:47 a.m. "The security is perfect," he intended to tell Dr. Sarah Gregg, director of the MesoAmerican and Caribbean Department. Suddenly, a muted thud and then the crackle and crash of old pottery echoed in the corridor.
"Someone needs caffeine," Murpill thought and tossed his Starbucks cup into a nearby wastebasket in order to look ready for anyone coming out of the makeshift lounge and lunchroom that the curators laughingly called Las Ruinas. Instead, the three curators of the department--Gregg, Dr. Golden Silver, and even chunky Dr. Winniker Grass--emerged from an office in the other direction, shaking their heads with worried faces. Using proper protocol, Murpill greeted the director.
Gregg answered softly, "We're just checking on things. All the plates and cups in Las Ruinas are paper. They're stamped with pictures of the Met's mascot, William, the turquoise hippopotamus. Every piece of pottery and ceramic on this floor, along with the gold and silver jewelry, is at least fourteen hundred years old and belongs to the Name Tagging exhibit. We're afraid that an artifact must have shattered." Sarah, with her sensible shoes, straight skirt, straight sweater, and straight hair, blushed as though Murpill had caught her with just a wet bath towel on. "You see, only the curators use Las Ruinas and we have no ordinary pottery in Las Ruinas or on this floor. One of the curators must have been playing dangerously with an artifact."
Murpill thought that he would have used the word "expensively," rather than "dangerously." Even so, he shuddered for a moment before remembering that part of his job in emergencies was to stay calm and help others stay calm. He threw his right arm over the shoulder of round-faced, nearsighted Dr. Winniker Grass, the ceramics specialist, who was keening, "Every piece, every piece invaluable. Every piece a baby Rosetta Stone," as though he were a grieving mother.
"We know, Winniker," said the metals specialist, Dr. Golden Silver, who looked like his name, tan, muscular, and turning silver in his fifties. Silver turned to Murpill, continuing his lecture. "All the pieces here are covered with glyphs, many not yet understood. Each is a clue to deciphering the Maya writing system. Even if gold doesn't break, I can understand professional loss. Grave robbers take gold and silver ahead of potsherds, stealing names and dates of artists and owners. Intellectual value, Winniker. Not the kind you get at Tiffany's. Right, Chief?"
Murpill nodded and swallowed his ironic thoughts about the value of dead men's words. He registered the bickering among the curators--and the fact that Dr. Sarah Gregg had seen him registering the bickering and had blushed as if she had no towel on at all. Still, Gregg took the lead as they approached Las Ruinas, and she barged through the partially open door.
Murpill followed her and heard her gasp, "Oh God!" when she saw Dr. Marvin Schwartz, the Maya exhibit consulting director lying, probably lifeless, on the marble tiled floor.