Monday, September 12, 2022

The Perfect Crime edited by Maxim Jakubowski & Vaseem Khan

First Line from the Introduction: Few would dispute the fact that, until a couple of decades ago, crime and mystery writing was essentially "white", both in terms of the craftsmen and women practising its art and, slightly less so, in readership.
I love learning about the landscapes and the cultures of the world, and I've found that one of the best ways to do so is through the crime fiction that I choose to read. An excellent source to feed this addiction of mine has long been the extraordinary short story anthology series published by Akashic, and when I learned that this book was being published, I knew I had to read it. After all, it contained stories written by several of my favorite authors.

Consequently, I could enjoy stories by authors I knew (S.A. Cosby, Sulari Gentill, Rachel Howzell Hall, Ausma Zehanat Khan, Vaseem Khan, Walter Mosley, Abir Mukherjee, David Heska Wanbli Weiden) while finding new-to-me authors like Silvia Moreno-Garcia and John Vercher, more of whose work I want to read.

The Perfect Crime takes readers all around the globe and introduces them to many cultures. There's not a bad apple in this anthology barrel, but I have to give special shout-outs to Rachel Howzell Hall's "Clout Chaser" and Ausma Zehanat Khan's "The Yellow Line." The tastiest of them all? John Vercher's "Either Way I Lose" set in 1919 Omaha, Nebraska. This story simply blew me away with its truth, power, and visceral, deeply emotional, knockout punch. Absolutely one of the best things I've read all year.

If you're an armchair traveling sleuth, you definitely need to get your hands on a copy of The Perfect Crime. I hope readers will be treated to a second volume in the future.

The Perfect Crime: 22 Crime Stories from Diverse Cultures Around the World
Edited by Maxim Jakubowsli & Vaseem Khan
HarperCollins © 2022
eBook, 448 pages
Short Story Anthology
Rating: A-
Source: Net Galley 


  1. This is a good reminder of a book I want to read but had forgotten to reserve at the library. Yes, several of my favorite authors are included in this edition, and writers I want to get started on reading. It sounds so good.

  2. I've been wanting to read this since it came out, Cathy! I do like Khan's writing, and the stories sound great. All that and I'm an armchair traveler, too. This one's definitely on the wish list, soon moving to the TBR (but don't tell my TBR that just yet... ;-) )

  3. Oh, I just found out the book isn't out yet until November, so the library doesn't even have it "on order."

    1. It has a convoluted release schedule. I do know that it's out in digital form here.

  4. Anthologies used to be quite the thing but I rarely see them any more. Then again, maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places.

  5. It's fun that the stories in this one are set in so many different places.

  6. This does sound like a great way to experience different places! It also sounds like a great way to try out some new authors.

  7. This armchair traveler (until I feel safe to travel in person again) will be checking this out as an intro to several of these authors and settings :)

  8. Yes, and then there are the Akashic collections that you mention. If only I could stick to those books, I'd travel everywhere.


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