Review : Mary Higgins Clark Presents Malice Domestic (Malice Domestic #2)

This anthology consisting of 17 short stories is put together by the Queen of Suspense Mary Higgins Clark . Below are the teasers to some of the stories –

Goodbye, Sue Ellen – Ellsworth Hummer married Sue Ellen for her money and he has finally come to realize the truth of the old adage . With no say in the matters of the family business , Ellsworth finally sees that he would never be family and that his plans of gaining control of his wife ‘ s family business would not come to pass if his wife continued to be around . So begins a string of perfectly good attempts at murdering his wife but it seems like Sue Ellen has nine lives . . . While I was expecting something along the lines of The Murder of My Aunt ending , I was amused to see that the author had provided a brilliant spin on TMMA ending . . . ( Now that might be something of a spoiler but trust me , there is more . . . )

Even Steven – When one of four musketeers wins a trip to Las Vegas , she decides to take the other three along with her for a ladies – only trip . However , one muskeeter ‘ s husband insists on tagging along with them . This husband ends up murdered in the Las Vegas hotel room . The Audible narrator of this one deserves a special mention – her perky narration had me smiling the entire time . . .

Kim’s Game – The narrator is a young girl who has been sent to a summer camp to keep her out of her parents ‘ divorce drama . She knows that only one of the parents will be at home when she gets back . Coming from such a home , she has developed an uncanny sense of reading her surroundings . She also has enough sense to not to flaunt her gift . . . Soon , one of the camp counsellors is murdered . The police want to speak to our narrator as she was the first one at the crime scene . A second sweeping glance at the crime scene and she knows that she can identify the murderer by one of the items which (s)he has taken care to remove from the crime scene . . .

Cold and Deep – The sons are visiting their father who now lives in the family home with his daughter in law who is also his caretaker and his aging dog . While this story is primarily about a dysfunctional family ( with no mystery ) , there ‘ s a lot packed into this story . It ‘ s atmospheric & brilliant story – telling hints that there ‘ s something happening behind the doors of that crumbling family home ( while offering the reader nothing too concrete to base their ideas on except for dropping a word here and there . . . )

Now for some bad news – for some reason , Audible decided to cut out 5 or so stories from it ‘ s audiobook production ( including Clark ‘s As It Was in the Beginning ) . I have purchased both Malice Domestic #1 and Malice Domestic #3 also ( reviews will shortly follow but I expect that they too will have some stories missing . . . I feel so cheated , thanks Audible ) . So it would be better if you pick up the paperback . . . Who Shot Mrs. Byron Boyd , the first story is the weakest IMHO . There are several stories that are simply brilliant – it ‘s simply amazing how the authors manage to pack a lot into a few pages – great character development , atmospheric & innovative POV narratives , jaw dropping twists ( to name a few ) . I ‘ ve given the teasers of some of my favorites among them . . . Hopefully they can convince you to pick up this one . . .

P . S : I never realized that short story format could work brilliantly for suspense genre until I discovered Peter Lovesey ‘ s stories . The introduction to the Malice Domestic anthology has only whetted my appetite for the short story format in the crime fiction genre . So the readers can expect to see more reviews on short story anthologies ( primarily in the crime fiction genre ) in the future . . .

Rating : 4 / 5

If you have already read Malice Domestic #2 , let me know in the comments section about your thoughts on the book  . If you have any interesting recommendations , please do share them . Until the next review then . . .

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