The Crooked Road: Ellery Queen presents stories of Grifters, Gangsters, Hit Men, and Other Career Crooks A story in the famous Keller series by Mystery Writers of America, Grand Master Lawrence Block provides the first stop in this anthology's journey along the road taken by professional criminals of mystery fiction. It is a road that leads back to the gangster's heyday of prohibition in stories by multiple Edgar Allan Poe Award winner, Doug Allyn, Canadian writer, Therese Greenwood, and one of EQMM's classic contributors, Florence Mayberry. The road also takes some forward turns in time. There's a thriller by New York Times Editor's Choice List author Olen Steinhauer about Internet-generated crime and a thoroughly modern grifter's tale by Gary Phillips. Readers won't want to miss the humorous byways of the genre either, in stories by Liza Cody, Tom Tolnay, and Helen Tucker; or the rough alleys of a port city in the action-packed cliff-hanger by Barbara Paul. Finally, there's the dark end of the street, represented by Susan B. Kelly's third-place winning story from MWA's Golden Anniversary Contest and Raymond Steiber's 2003 Edgar Allan Poe Award winner for Best Short Story. Last but certainly not the least of the noir selections is a story from Ireland/'s celebrated Ken Bruen. The journey comes to an end with Edgar Allan Poe Award winner Clark Howard/'s story of a crook who lives and dies on the back roads of his own hometown.
Volume Three of The Crooked Road, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine’s high-speed pursuit of fiction’s criminal underworld, makes its first stop in the urban landscape of Liza Cody’s England, where the Silver Dagger winner spins a tale of prostitution and greed in “I Am Not Fluffy”, then heads off across the U.S. with the young grifters of Art Taylor’s Derringer nominated “Rearview Mirror.” The mean streets of Detroit’s music industry feature in multiple Edgar Award winner Doug Allyn’s “The Sultans of Soul,” while New York gangsters appear in Mike Baron’s satirical “Five Stars.” Every legitimate business has its underside, as the crooked lawyers of V. S. Kemanis’s “Collector’s Find,” the pro wrestling cheats of Chris Muessig and Steve Seder’s “Death Match,” the swindlers hiding behind a catering business in Marilyn Todd’s “Something Rather Fishy,” and thugs working the auto-salvage business in Therese Greenwood’s “Wrecked” know all too well. The hit man of bestseller Lawrence Block’s “Who Knows Where It Goes” travels side by side between these covers with the hired muscle of Edgar winner Steve Hamilton’s “The Weight,” the deadly petty offenders of International Thriller Award winner Tim L. Williams’s “Where That Morning Sun Goes Down,” the poacher on the run in Edgar winner Clark Howard’s “White Wolves,” and the narco traffickers of Roger Jones’s “Clouds” and Stephen T. Vessels’ “Doloroso.” Con artists, buccaneers, and thieves take the wheel in Mary Jane Maffini’s multiple award-winning story “So Much in Common,” Toni L. P. Kelner’s swashbuckling adventure “The Pirate’s Debt,” and bestseller Jeffery Deaver’s “The Westphalian Ring.” But watch out: There’s no time to put on the brakes. . .