Review: Down These Strange Streets Ed. George RR Martin

edenskeeper April 27, 2012 0 Book Reviews


Down These Strange Streets is an anthology of UF stories in the vein of the old Hardboiled and Noir Fiction styles. Each story revolves around a crime that must be solved but unlike their lauded predecessors these stories have a supernatural bent to them.

This anthology could not be better! In fact it is an anthology dream for each story is better than the one before – an amazing feat given the long list of top notch contributors. Every writer here has brought their “A” game.

Some stories are set in the past while others are set in contemporary times. Some stick close to the Noir style which I particularly like – as you see the “Average Joe” struggle to put the pieces of the puzzle together. While others revel in the Hardboiled style with Private Investigators not only trying to solve the case but determine if their client’s on the “up and up”. 

The contributors:

– “The Bastard Stepchild” (introduction), by George R.R. Martin
– “Death by Dahlia,” by Charlaine Harris
– “The Bleeding Shadow,” by Joe R. Lansdale
– “Hungry Heart,” by Simon R. Green
– “Styx and Stones,” by Steven Saylor
– “Pain and Suffering,” by S.M. Stirling
– “It’s Still the Same Old Story,” by Carrie Vaughn
– “The Lady Is a Screamer,” by Conn Iggulden
– “Hellbender,”by Laurie R. King
– “Shadow Thieves,” by Glen Cook
– “No Mystery, No Miracle,” by Melinda Snodgrass
– “The Difference Between a Puzzle and a Mystery,” by M.L.N. Hanover
– “The Curious Affair of the Deodand,” by Lisa Tuttle
– “Lord John and the Plague of Zombies,” by Diana Gabaldon
– “Beware the Snake,” by John Maddox Roberts
– “In Red, With Pearls,” by Patricia Briggs
– “The Adakian Eagle,” by Bradley Denton

A few of my favorites:

“The Bleeding Shadow,” by Joe R. Lansdale is a wonderfully scary story with a musical twist on the traditional crossroads mythos.

“Hungry Heart,” by Simon R. Green asks how far will a beautiful witch go to fulfill her ambition?

“It’s Still the Same Old Story,” by Carrie Vaughn gives us insight into the background of one of the most enigmatic characters in her Kitty novels, Rick.

“The Difference Between a Puzzle and a Mystery,” by M.L.N. Hanover offers us a modern view on soul collecting.

“In Red, With Pearls,” by Patricia Briggs includes characters from her Mercy Briggs series and brings new life to the saying “Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.”

But Martin and Dozois take the cake by ending this wonderful anthology with “The Adakian Eagle,” by Bradley Denton. I started to picture the scenes in my mind like an old black and white movie complete with reedy music and tough guy actors like Mitchum and Bogart. Just marvelous!

Have an old school mystery buff on your holiday list? Put Down These Strange Streets in their stocking and a copy in yours, too!

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