Life Is Short and Then You Die: Mystery Writers of America Presents First Encounters with Murder

Imprint. Sept. 2019. 320p. ed. by Armstrong, Kelley, ed. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250196392.
Gr 10 Up–Death proceeds in mysterious ways and these mysteries are all the more intriguing when murder is on the table. Or in the garage. Or in the neighborhood park. Edited by Armstrong, this is a collection of young adult short stories featuring murder. It is a broad look at the genre, covering the topic in a variety of ways—accidents, intentional, intentionally made to look like accidents—and from a variety of points of view; sometimes the protagonist witnessed the murder, was framed for it, stumbled across the victim, or even was murdered. The work is engaging and would fit into a moderate collection, but wouldn’t be a strong recommendation to grip mystery lovers.
VERDICT While all of the selections are well written and interesting, there are few surprises in these short stories.

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