Sunday, December 8, 2019

Book Review: Crime Travel edited by Barb Goffman

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: 15 great short stories crossing time travel with crime fiction
Cons: A couple weren’t completely to my taste, but the rest are so strong it is a minor issue
The Bottom Line:
Time travel and crime
Combine in fun collection
Buy it now.  And now.

Great Short Story Collection to Read Any Time

Ah, there you are.  I’ve been traveling through time looking for you to tell you about a wonderful collection of short stories I have read entitled Crime Travel.  It is the brain child of the book’s editor, Barb Goffman.  She sent a copy of the book into the future for me to read, and I had to come back and tell you all about it.

It is coming out today.  Yes, I know, today is a Sunday.  But what better time to release this book than on International Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day.  I know you are going to ask why that is.  You see, each story in the collection involves time travel and a crime in some form.  We’ve got several stories that involve accidental trips through time with all kinds of devices used to pull our main characters through time.  Others involve someone actually invention a time machine.  The times visited vary, from our present to Shakespeare’s England.  Sometimes, the characters are trying to prevent a crime, other times they are trying to commit one or solve one.  And at other times, they get caught up in events when they accidentally land in another time or place.

Looking for specific examples?  The collection opens when Jennifer Elliot stumbles upon two time tourists in 2019 Kansas City in Melissa H. Blaine’s “Living on Borrowed Time.”  Korina Moss sends two unlikely friends to a New Jersey Boardwalk in the 1970’s in “On the Boardwalk.”  A security guard takes an elevator ride to the past in Adam Meyer’s “The Fourteenth Floor.”  Two police detectives get a locked room puzzle to make Agatha Christie proud in “And Then There Were Paradoxes” by Cathy Wiley.  And the hard boiled genre meets time travel when James Blakey shares “The Case of the Missing Physicist.”

Now, hear me out.  I enjoy stories where the crime isn’t a murder.  Heck, some of these stories involve capers more than traditional mysteries.  All of these are fun.  But a couple of these stretch the definition of crime pretty thin.

Then again, it’s hard to complain since there are so many good stories in the bunch – including the ones I was talking about above.  A couple weren’t quite to my taste, but I’m sure others will like them.  And most of them are downright fun.  Yes, some of the conventions of time travel are mentioned and then either thrown out of the window or used to the author’s benefit depending on the story.  A few had me laughing while others had me chocking up by the end.  There are a total of fifteen stories here, and they are all different and entertaining.

So you can see why I had to come back from the future to share my thoughts on this collection with you.  I can tell you for sure that if you pick up Crime Travel, you’ll find it is one of your favorite collections of short stories.

And now, I shall return to the future as my work here is done.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this collection.

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