Short Suspects

Lost, Forgotten, and Neglected American Mystery Stories and Where to Find Them

Non-Fiction - Writing/Publishing
159 Pages
Reviewed on 05/04/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

“A man with a strange, unbelievable past; a man who gives few clues to his identity. If the scant information about him is to be believed, Simon Ark is close to two thousand years old.” Now there’s a tail spinner of a character description. In Short Suspects: Lost, Forgotten, and Neglected American Mystery Stories and Where to Find Them, Martin Ross creates an identity, or perhaps more accurately a non-identity, and a mystery evolves, one that will have you scratching your head in wonder as you follow a detective enmeshed in the occult. Edward D. Hoch is one of many mystery writers who came and went. Some great stories influenced and inspired some of the contemporary greats like Grisham and Patterson and the steady stream of television sitcoms like CSI and Bones and their penchant to use science and forensics to solve the case. Mystery writers past and present weave a compelling tale of murder, mayhem and so much more, and then, sadly, many are forgotten, lost to time and backroom shelves of someone’s archival collection.

Martin Ross’s book Short Suspects re-introduces more than 150 short mysteries and the authors who wrote them. Going as far back as the start of the mystery genre, the pulp magazines from the 1930s and onward, this book explores the stories, the authors, when and where they were first published, and provides a short synopsis of each entry. This is a great archival tool for anyone researching the mystery genre, past, present, and future. This is a well-laid-out book to peruse at one’s leisure, written almost like a personal journal with the author’s entries depicting his interest in each work being documented. I also have a passion for a good mystery and I found this an interesting read, opening my eyes to some of the past authors who paved the way for the intense mysteries of the contemporary era.