The Best American Mystery and Suspense

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The Best American Mystery and Suspense is an annual anthology of North American mystery and thriller stories. Part of The Best American Series since 1997, it is published by Empire Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. Prior to 2021, its title was The Best American Mystery Stories and it was published by Houghton Mifflin.

Works for each edition are selected like the other The Best American Series titles, whereby a series editor chooses about 50 candidates from which a guest editor picks about 20 for publication. Runners-up are listed in the appendix.[1] The editor of the series during 1997–2020, Otto Penzler, defined eligible mystery stories as "any work of fiction in which a crime or the threat of a crime is central to the theme or plot" and only considered those that had been written by an American or Canadian and published for the first time during the previous calendar year in an American or Canadian publication.[2]

Series editors[edit]

Guest editors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Deseret News, October 5, 2001
  2. ^ Penzler, Otto; Oates, Joyce Carol, eds. (2005). The Best American Mystery Stories 2005. Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. xi–xii.