When a Stranger Comes to Town, edited by Michael Koyrta, 4 Stars

Sometimes life and work just get too crazy and a whole book feels like a huge commitment. This is when I love turning to a carefully editing collection of short stories. Because you can sit down and get a thought provoking mini-tale in one sitting, then get up and carry on with your day. Or, you can sit and read them all in one sitting too. You choose!

Collections of short stories totally have that same feel as when you turn on an indie film and there are a ton of Hollywood stars in the movie. So, either someone making the movie has a ton of famous friends, or the project is just so fun that people want to be a part of it, even without a huge payday. This collection definitely has that feel.

Plus, Publisher’s Weekly gave this one a starred review – which is always the best sign. They said, “Exceptional… This is the best kind of anthology, consistently excellent and inventive.”

From the Publisher:

The latest Mystery Writers of America story collection, featuring terrifying tales of encounters with strangers from some of the top bestsellers and award winners in crime fiction

It’s been said that all great literature boils down to one of two stories—a man takes a journey, or a stranger comes to town. While mystery writers have been successfully using both approaches for generations, there’s something undeniably alluring in the nature of a stranger: the uninvited guest, the unacquainted neighbor, the fish out of water.

No matter how or where they appear, strangers are walking mysteries, complete unknowns in once-familiar territories who disrupt our lives with unease and wonder. In the newest collection of stories by the Mystery Writers of America, each author weaves a fresh tale surrounding the eerie feeling that comes when a stranger enters our midst, featuring stories by prolific mystery writers such as Michael Connelly, Dean Koontz and Joe Hill.

I was drawn to When a Stranger Comes to Town by Micheal Koyrta because it featured stories from many of my favorite horror and mystery writers including Joe Hill and Alafaire Burke, along with a slew of writers I’m not as familiar with but who are multi-NY Times bestselling authors like Michael Connolly and Lisa Unger.

My Review:

When a Stranger Comes to Town is a satisfying collection of short stories from super well known authors. I was drawn to it initially because it featured a couple writers I really enjoy following including Joe Hill and Alafaire Burke, but I really enjoyed most of the stories and all the writers were good.

A couple of the stories were seriously 5-minute reads and others went a little deeper. A lot of them had cliff hangers that left you wondering what would happen next and even flipping back through the pages for clues that might give it away. Not much to say about this one, except that it’s a must-read to keep on your nightstand for those evenings when you only have 15 minutes until you are ready to drift off to sleep.

Special thanks to Netgalley and Hanover Square Press for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out April 20. Get your copy!


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