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50 Crime Stories by Robert H. Weinberg

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How long does it take to plot and commit a serious crime? According to the stories collected in 50 Crime stories, no more than ten minutes. Celebrating the fascination with a subject that has grown into one of the most popular genres in contemporary fiction, we present the reader with 50 tales of crime and suspense in the short-short-story form, the type of tale conducive to clever crimes and cleverer solutions.

The selections span more than 200 years and encompass virtually every story type known in the genre: the puzzle tale in Alexander Dumas's 'The Man of the Knife', the classic detective story in Headon Hill's 'The Sapient Monkey', the modern hard-boiled story in Joe R. Lansdale's 'The Job', the police procedural in Gerald Tollesfrud's 'Switch' and the noir thriller in Ernest Leong's 'Incense Sticks'. The police blotter of crimes investigated includes fratricide in Allen Beck's 'Always Together,' embezzlement in Ferenc Molnar's 'The Best Policy', serial murder in Gary Lovisi's 'New Blood', windling in Michael A. Black's 'The Pigeon Drop', kidnapping in Edgar Wallace's 'The Slave-Maker', bigamy in Joyce Kilmer's 'Whitemail', drive-by shootings in Dane Gregory's 'Jackie Won't be Home', the ever-reliable homicide in Chet Williamson's 'First Kill' and a crime so bizarre in Geoffrey Vace's 'The Hard-Luck Kid' that it hasn't yet got a name by which it can be described.

Readers who enjoy their crimes 'straight' will find that the lion's share of these stories take a hard-nosed approach to their subjects. For those who enjoy a respite from the often-grim chore of seeing criminals brought to bay, several stories offer laughter as the only possible solution to their predicaments. In all, the contents of 50 Crime stories show that petty crooks are not the only criminals dealt with in the short-short crime story.

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