This year’s Best American Mystery Stories, published Tuesday, October 4, features for the first time one of my own stories—a bucket-list kind of honor indeed! And adding even more to my excitement and pride, the anthology also celebrates two other stories with which I was associated as an editor. Frankly, I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Back in January, when I got the email that “Rearview Mirror,” the opening story in my novel in stories On the Road with Del & Louise, had been selected by Elizabeth George and Otto Penzler for inclusion in the 2016 Best American Mystery Stories, I could hardly believe it—and, in fact, over recent months, I kept waiting for someone along the way to change their mind about including it! Only when I saw the final product recently did I fully believe this was happening—really a dream come true.
During that time between announcement and publication, I also learned that Tom Franklin’s story “Christians,” which appeared in Murder Under the Oaks: Bouchercon Anthology 2015, an anthology I edited, had also been selected for inclusion; admittedly, I can take zero credit for that story’s brilliance—I don’t remember making a single suggestion or request as I shepherded it into the Bouchercon anthology—but it felt terrific to have that anthology celebrated here somehow. And then when I saw the final copy of BAMS, I discovered that another story from Murder Under the Oaks—Sean Doolittle’s “Driftwood”—has been listed in the appendix “Other Distinguished Mystery Stories of 2015.” Wow! It was a great privilege to work with both those authors, and it’s a privilege now to see them—and our anthology on the whole—earn such attention.
And then to think of the company we’re all keeping—with a table of contents that also includes Megan Abbott and Stephen King and Elmore Leonard and…. Well, simply put, I can hardly believe the good fortune, on all counts.
The full table of contents for the 2016 BAMS also includes stories by Steve Almond, Matt Bell, Bruce Robert Coffin, Lydia Fitzpatrick, Evan Lewis, Robert Lopresti, Dennis McFadden, Michael Noll, Todd Robinson, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Georgia Ruth, Jonathan Stone, Susan Thornton, Brian Tobin, and Saral Waldorf.
Congratulations to everyone here—I’m overjoyed to be sharing space with you all!