Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Heard: "Mystery Writers of America Presents Ice Cold" edited by Jeffrey Deaver and Raymond Benson.

Heard: Mystery Writers of America Presents Ice Cold by Jeffrey Deaver and Rayond Benson, 2014, Overdrive download. Multiple narrators.

I've been to one Bouchercon - St. Louis - and met Benson during the Open-Bar-Debacle-of-2011. Before I went overboard on free Dewar's Mr. Benson was kind of enough to speak with me and endure my lack of conversational topics.

This was a pretty decent selection of stories but the narration was uneven. There were a lot of stories set in Berlin and some modern-day tales with Soviet moles trying to stay hidden after the fall of the wall.

I don't recall story titles and authors but the stories I recall most are of a young East Berlin man who accepts a bicycle as a gift. Big mistake. In resource poor East Germany the only bikes are spoken for by the Stasi and Stasi informers. He has to get rid of the bike somehow. He leaves the bike out to be stolen but no one will steal it.

Another has a newlywed housewife in Maryland living a boring life in a gossip rich neighborhood. Her and her husband get friendly with a newly moved in neighbor.  The husband dies and the wife disappears. The wife was a Soviet (German?) assassin who married the man for his secrets and poisoned him.

A guard on the Berlin Wall - before the full wall, when there were lower barbed wire sections - hears his former girlfriend had a child. This is a shock to him, she had fled to the West a few months ago. He impulsively jumps the fence, meets the woman, finds the pregnancy was a fake. Former girlfriend is a Party Believer and under the thumb of a svengali agent runner who concocted the pregnancy story to entice the Guard to defect and be a spy in the West.

That it is all. I remember no more.

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