Lawrence Block – The Collected Mystery Stories

As with most collections, this one has some excellent stories in it, and some throwaway rubbish. They range from traditional mysteries, through folksy con jobs, to character sketches without even a hint of crime, with even a few tales of psychological horror tossed in along the way. The bulk of the stories are one-offs, and that’s where most of the variability occurs. It’s the ones about Block’s series characters (Bernie Rhodenbarr, Matt Scudder, Keller) that are the really worthwhile nuggets, though.