“Odd Partners: An Anthology,”
Edited by Anne Perry
Ballantine Books (2019)
You’ll freely admit it: you can’t do it alone.
Every important thing you do takes two. Another opinion, a confirmation that you’re right, an extra set of hands, another pair of eyes, everything works better when you’ve got help. It takes a pair to make progress, a duo to do well, and in the new anthology, “Odd Partners: An Anthology,” edited by Anne Perry, it takes two to murder.
Cut from the same cloth.
That’s what people say about you and your best pal, but being unalike is exactly what makes your friendship work. Unique pairings like yours are what you’ll find in this collection of short stories from some of America’s best mystery writers.
Northern Minnesota offers prime fishing and great wildlife-watching, but rich developers sometimes have different notions. In “The Nature of the Beast” by William Kent Krueger, that doesn’t set very well with an angler who loves the land — and it doesn’t set well, either, with a wolf he helped save.
Everyone, it seems, is on social media these days, including cats. In “Oglethorpe’s Camera” by Claire Ortalda, a cat fetches a clue to a murder — or does he? A bloody stocking cap and a little pussyfooting around tell the tale.
“Loose Lips Sink Ships,” as they used to say during World War II, and in “Glock, Paper, Scissors” by Shelley Costa, loose lips can cause murder. Keeping ones’ mouth shut, however, can ensure that revenge happens, even decades later.
If you could disappear, how would you do it? In “What Ever Happened to Lorna Winters?” by Lisa Morton, how would you make someone disappear, if they lived in the limelight?
If you’re an inveterate note-taker, then you’ll understand why it’s important to write everything down. If it’s not in print, it doesn’t exist, but in “No 11 Squatter” by Adele Polomski, it’s a life-or-death matter.
And Eric Applebaum’s mind was slipping but not totally gone. Still, he couldn’t remember why he was on an airplane, or where he was going. In “The Last Game” by Robert Dugoni, though, he learns that it’s the trip of a lifetime…
Every year, you say these words: “I have no time to read!” but this year, you can break the cycle. “Odd Partners” gives you nineteen different ways to do it.
In her introduction, editor and author Anne Perry says that she’s always been intrigued by the idea of “any two beings who had to cooperate with each other… to solve a crime.” Here, they also commit crimes, inadvertently or on purpose, in ways that surprise readers with nice plot twists and delightfully imaginative interpretations of Perry’s required “beings.”
Another surprise: some of these stories aren’t mysteries but are more suspense-like, perhaps in the vein of old Hitchcockian works. It’s a nice shake-up, which further underscores the theme of “different.”
So put away your bookmarks; you won’t need ‘em. With this book, tuck it, take it, and enjoy any of the stories inside. You’ll find “Odd Partners: An Anthology” to be one fun book.