Fifteen talented and diverse authors have joined forces to pen a loosely connected series of tales that follows a charm bracelet throughout the centuries—and oh, what tales! It's rare in an anthology when each story is better than the last, but with contributors like Laura Lippman, Peter Robinson, Lee Child, Emma Donoghue and John Connolly, the quality is stellar.

Slaughter begins and ends the tome, which starts in 1800s Georgia, ventures through 1940s London and eventually comes full circle to the present-day South. With each new tale, charms are added to the bracelet, but this piece of jewelry is no good-luck talisman.

Standouts include Lynda LaPlante's "The Goblin," in which a perfectly planned crime goes awry after a chance mishap of mistaken doggy identities; Fidelus Morgan's "Down and Dirty," featuring a particularly endearing and charismatic narrator; and Connolly's Edgar Allen Poeesque "The Inkpot Monkey." (May, 352 pp., $21.95)
Reviewed by: 
Tara Gelsomino