SINISTER SHORTS

Sisters Pam and Mary O'Shaughnessy tag-team this collection of short tales (under their pen name), each taking turns delivering solo suspense tales for a change. Of course, there's a twist: None of the stories are signed. They leave it up to readers to deduce who penned what mystery. (But read the introduction for some answers and clues.)

The sole collaboration in this 19-story anthology features lawyer Nina Reilly, the heroine of their jointly written, Reno-based mystery series. Other standouts include the ambitious, though not wholly successful, homages. "Gertrude Stein Solves a Mystery," according to the prologue, is an attempt to write in the innovative author's voice, and "His Master's Hand" is a nod to Dostoyevski's classic Notes From the Underground.

The authors are on steadier ground with the remainder of the tales, many of which feature love- gone-wrong crimes of vengeance and the requisite final twists that suspense shorts demand. All in all, it's an entertaining if not keeper-worthy collection. (Feb., 200 pp., $21.00)
Reviewed by: 
Tara Gelsomino