Florida Happens

Three Rooms. Sept. 2018. 284p. ed. by . ISBN 9781941110744. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781941110751. M
Published to coincide with the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in St. Petersberg, FL, in September, this collection of mystery stories connected to the Sunshine State has a little something for mystery fans of every persuasion. Standouts include Angel Luis Colón's "Muscle Memory," a haunting tale of a ex-con in a retirement home, and Patricia Abbott's "When Agnes Left Her House," the story of a mother who impulsively flees her abusive marriage. While the introduction hammers home the tradition of every crime in Florida seeming like a Carl Hiaasen novel, and some stories, such as Barb Goffman's "The Case of the Missing Pot Roast" deliver on the "only in Florida" premise, many of the stories are actually fairly straightforward tales where the Florida setting is not key to the narrative. This makes for a solid collection of mystery stories, rather than an anthology attempting to give a sense of place, such as the Akashic "Noir" series.
VERDICT For fans of mystery short stories; particularly those who enjoy a variety of styles within the genre.
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