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The Mysterious Bookshop Presents the Best Mystery Stories of the Year 2023

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Member Reviews

I got the audiobook version from NetGalley. I was really happy to have a chance to listen to this. I don't often read mysteries or short stories so it was a nice change of pace for me. There were a few stories that I really enjoyed and a few that I was kind of frustrated at where the ending was. I had never heard of this series of books so I was happy to be introduced to it.

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This one my favorite. I didnt expect to love the stories, but they were amazing! You should read it.

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I do not normally listen to short stories, but I thought these would be good to entertain me while doing various errands and chores. I did not love all of them, but a handful of the mysteries were very engaging. The narration was decent, but not professional sounding. I prefer a more performative narration. Overall, this is a good anthology of mystery stories.

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These were a bunch of short mystery stories all in one audiobook!

Some stories were good and thrilling, but others I couldn't get into. It is hard when you are enjoying some of the stories because you want to keep listening to see if the next story is just as good.

I do like mystery/thrillers however a lot of these were crime thrillers. Psych thrillers and domestic thrillers tend to be my go to genre.

Maybe a lot of the genre wasn't for me. Either way, the audiobook is entertaining enough as well as the narrators.

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The Mysterious Bookshop Presents The Best Mystery Stories of the Year 2023 by Amor Towles and Otto Penzler is an anthology consisting of twenty-one short stories. I enjoyed most of the short stories and appreciated the sequencing and pacing of the work as a whole. This anthology ran the gambit of types of mysteries from classic to noir and I really enjoyed the project of this book.

I received a review copy of this book from the author/publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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The Mysteries Bookshop Presents the Best Mystery Stories of the Year 2023 consists of twenty-one short tales covering several subgenres including noir and modern. As in any anthology, I liked some better than others. As a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, my favourite story was The Adventure of the Misquoted Macbeth by Derrick Balanger and Dodge by Jeffrey Deavers is a definite standout. Overall, the rest were enjoyable and it introduced me to a lot of new authors whose books I will definitely look for in the future. I also liked that each story begins with an introduction to the writer and is followed by an explanation of how the writer came up with the idea for the tale, something I, and I expect most mystery readers, often wonder about.

But for me, the absolute best part of this anthology is the introduction by Amor Towles in which he praises the cadaver and its important and changing role in mysteries from the Golden Age to today. I now have much more respect for that sadly too-often overlooked body in the story.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Keith Sellon-Wright, Christina Delaine, and Terence Kidd and they all do a terrific job of bringing the stories to life.

Thanks to Netgalley and Highbridge Audio for access to this audiobook in exchange for an honest review

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Thanks to NetGalley and HighBridge Audio for the audiobook ARC!

I really enjoy short story collections, so it's no surprise that I enjoyed this book. As with any collection, there were some that stood above the rest, including 'Dodge' and 'The Landscaper's Wife". And of course, the Edith Wharton story at the end was a delight. Fans of Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple should enjoy the homage stories in the collection as well. And fans of mystery stories will definitely find something to intrigued and delight them.

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Let me start out by saying that I do not read a lot of short stories, but these were perfect for a very busy month. Some of the stories worked better for me than others, I tend to prefer the old fashioned stories build up over the Holmes/Watson mould but in this collection you get a bit of everything.

Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read and review this ARC.

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Some of the stories were great, but there were more than a handful that were just tough to get through due to some combination of either the story itself or the narrator. Of those I did enjoy, they were fantastic, and I appreciated learning little tidbits about the authors.

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This anthology's mix of renowned and hidden-gem authors is the perfect recipe for mystery enthusiasts.

Book Information

‘The Mysterious Bookshop Presents the Best Mystery Stories of the Year 2023’, edited by Amor Towles is a 544-page mystery short story anthology published on September 19, 2023. The audio version, released on December 12th, is narrated by Keith Sellon-Wright; Christina Delaine; and Terrence Kidd, and spans 21 hours and 30 minutes. Thank you to RB Media for providing me with an advance reader copy of this book for review.


This annual anthology is a collection of 21 recently published short stories and includes a bonus story from 1926.

My Thoughts

The short story anthology, 'The Mysterious Bookshop Presents the Best Mystery Stories of the Year 2023,' edited by Amor Towles, offers a diverse and compelling collection that caters to a wide range of readers.

Despite not being a regular reader of anthologies, I found this one particularly enjoyable. The anthology covers a broad spectrum of topics, authors, themes, tones, and plot lines, making it accessible and engaging for readers with varied preferences.

One notable aspect is the mix of both well-known and lesser-known authors, providing a blend of established voices and emerging talent. Among the standout stories, Jeffery Deaver's "Dodge" is particularly good, depicting a riveting showdown between a US Marshal and a formidable female criminal. Brendan DuBois's "The Landscaper’s Wife" is a traditional story but very well delivered, while Derrick Belanger's unique take on a Sherlock Holmes story and Andrew Child's latest Jack Reacher tale add further depth to the anthology.

One minor criticism I have is a few of the stories in the anthology stories seem unfinished or lack a clear conclusion. While this might be inherent to the nature of short stories, some readers, like myself, prefer narratives that tie up loose ends.

The audio version, narrated by Keith Sellon-Wright, Christina Delaine, and Terrence Kidd, is very well done. Clocking in at 21 hours, the use of different narrators not only captures the distinct tones of individual stories but also provides a welcome change in voice, effectively breaking up the extended duration of the audiobook. The narrators' excellent performances contribute to the overall success of the anthology, making it a compelling choice for mystery enthusiasts seeking a rich and varied collection.


'The Mysterious Bookshop Presents the Best Mystery Stories of the Year 2023' stands out as a captivating anthology with a diverse array of stories that cater to a broad audience. Despite a minor issue with a few entries lacking closure, the compelling narratives, varied authorship, and excellent narration in the audio version earn it a solid four-star rating. Recommended for mystery aficionados.


4 Corpse Laden Stars

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I really enjoyed this anthology edited and curated by an amazing author - Amor Towles. I really enjoyed how each story had its own narrator which helped bring those characters alive and set the stories apart. As with any anthology, some of the stories were better (IMO) than others. I felt a few were unfinished or samples of larger/longer stories. I also wondered how some of them made it into a Mystery Story anthology when they didn't seem to fit the definition of a Mystery. As in, they were good stories, but didn't have any mystery in them. I did enjoy that several of the stories had an author's note after which gave some insight into the creation of the story and/or characters. I also really like the authors' bios at the beginning of each story to give a little insight into authors we may not have read before. Overall, very enjoyable. I even found a few that I would love to use in the classroom with my students. My high schoolers LOVE mysteries.
Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for allowing me to give my feedback on this advanced reader copy.

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From New York City's legendary mystery fiction specialty bookstore, The Mysterious Bookshop y, mysterious short stories from the past year with 2023, THE BEST MYSTERY STORIES OF THE YEAR.

I listened to the audio version narrated by Keith Sellon-Wright, Christina Delaine, and Terrence Kidd.

While I find an anthology series challenging to review, especially when listening to audio, there is always a mixed bag of stories, some better than others, and it is difficult to recall which one was which unless you are reading a digital copy.

Twenty-one stories are collected for the anthology, including two from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, two from Mystery, Crime and Mayhem: Cold Cases, two from Mystery Magazine, and one from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. The other stories first appeared in various collections. Plus, the author notes. A twenty-second story includes a bonus story by Edith Wharton.

While I was not blown away by any of the stories and found it difficult to rate each story, I am giving this one an overall three stars and feeling slightly disappointed.

Thanks to HighBridge Audio and NetGalley for an ALC in exchange for an honest review.

Blog review posted @
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
Pub Date: Dec 12, 2023
My Rating: 3 Stars

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Truthfully, I did not really enjoy most of the stories I tried in this book and eventually gave up. I did like the Holmes pastiche and the one about the two pool sharks. These were just not mostly the type of mysteries I like. Kind of too hard boiled. If I never hear of Jack Reacher again that will be fine. Narration was fine.

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This was a fun read of short stories and I am now adding a bunch of new authors to my TBR and looking for past editions of this set of stories from past years!


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THE MYSTERIOUS BOOKSHOP PRESENTS THE BEST MYSTERY STORIES OF THE YEAR, selected by Amor Towles and Otto Penzler, read by Keith Sellon-Wright, Christina Delaine, & Terrance Kidd was a fantastic selection of short stories!

I really enjoyed listening to this curated selection of mysterious short stories over the last few days. Published yesterday, on December 12th, I had thought to breeze through and share this on its pub day, but I just had to slow it down and savor the few stories per day. I thoroughly enjoyed the introduction (weird, I know). In fact, I enjoyed all the small extras to each story, either sharing the inspiration for the story or a bit more about the author, or both! I was duly impressed.

Some of these stories felt like a true mystery, some moved into the philosophical and others were just immensely fascinating, probing the darker sides of humanity. I was quite taken. Some, naturally, hit stronger than others, but I felt that each tale was one in which I could quickly immerse myself.

Thank you @NetGalley & @highbridgeaudio for this audiobook and letting me share my thoughts! It is a perfect dark winter night collection to pass the moments before drifting off to sleep...or not!

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As is the case with most story collections that include multiple authors, this is a bit up and down. Some great stories and some not so great.

I was a little disappointed by the lack of variety in terms of the types of mysteries included. Perhaps I just have elevated standards for anything from Penzler Publishers since they’re typically so excellent, but the selections here felt a bit one-note and I would have preferred greater breadth in style/tone.

As a result my favorite piece was the Edith Wharton story reprinted at the end of the book, which was the best of the lot and also the most stylistically singular.

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This was a really fun collection of stories. I loved listening to it, and they very talented narrators who were able to give the characters a voice, bringing you into the story itself. I think one of my top favorite stories was the Sherlock Holmes short. It can be hard to do justice to Watson and Holmes, but it was very well done.

Hours of great stories and enjoyment! Grab this audio now.

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The Mysterious Bookshop Presents the Best Mystery Stories of the Year 2023, is a compilation of many short mystery stories. The selections are good. A couple felt more like the first chapter of a book and left you hanging. But most were complete short stories with a lot of variety. Nice way to discover new authors. The audio-book narration with three different readers was very good. I received a copy of this audio-book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this eARC.

A wonderful collection. I listened to the audiobook and I can't pick just one as my favorite, although the one with the little dog Ears broke my heart.

5 stars, this should have a wide appeal for any mystery fan.

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It’s always difficult to give a rating for a book of short stories, but this had several that I really enjoyed so I’m giving it four stars. The one that will probably stick with me the longest was called “The Landscaper’s Wife” by Brendan DuBois.

Most of the stories were written by authors I hadn’t read before, and now I want to go look at the rest of their books. I also want to listen to the previous year’s editions of this series of short stories.

Special thanks to Netgalley and RB Media for the advance audiobook version of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

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