Okay - new puppy with the attention span of a newt - so I'm craving short stories to read - something about long enough to grab a quick story while she sleeps (after I've picked up some of the chaos left in her wake).

Any suggestions - I particularly yearn for European, Scandinavian and Asian collections if that's possible :)

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Can't help you on the European/Scandinavian/Asian collections but some of my favourites are:

DAMN NEAR DEAD - an anthology of geezer noir from writers such as Ken Bruen, Colin Cotterill, Bill Crider, Stuart MacBride, Laura Lippman, Megan Abbott, Al Guthrie, Duane Swierczynski, Jason Starr, Victor Gischler, Steve Brewer, Reed Farrel Coleman, Charlie Stella. Ray Banks, Simon Kernick, Sean Doolittle...loads more. A wide range of greeat stories and probably my favourite overall anthology becase every story is a keeper (well, all except one maybe :o) ).

MEN FROM BOYS - stories about what it means to be a man from Daniel Woodrell, James Sallis, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos, Reginald Hill, John Harvey, Peter Robinson, Mark Billingham, Michael Connelly, Lawrence Block...a mouthwatering collection of authors.

PLOTS WITH GUNS - 24 of the best stories from the much missed Plots With Guns. This one's a really exciting down and dirty anthology with both well known and lesser known authors. Two of my favourite short stories EVER are in this anthology. The book includes authors such as Eddie Muller (one of those favourites), Gary Phillips, Scott Phillips, Tribe (the other all time favourite - it blew me away) , Kent Anderson, Micahel Connelly, Steve Hamilton, Pat Lambe, Sean Doolittle, Pearce Hansen...

MURDALAND - a magazine in book form - a brilliant idea - Ken Bruen, Daniel Woodrell (the man's a genius), Anthony Neil Smith, Patricia Abbott, J D Rhoades, Cortright McMeel...plus a reprint of a David Goodis story - exciting, nasty stuff.

And for a one author collection I recommend Simon Wood's WORKING STIFFS which is a collection of his short stories with a workplace theme - very good.
You're an angel...
FictionPress and LiveJournal have experimental short fiction. Amazon Shorts may include some of the authors in which you're interested.
I second DAMN NEAR DEAD. It's a great, vibrant collection. I like how each author comments on her/his story at the end.

In terms of Asian collections--I have two to recommend, but they are both out of print. But you can still get used copies online.

My favorite anthology of oldtime Japanese women writers is TO LIVE AND TO WRITE: Selections by Japanese Women Writers 1913-1938. They are not necessarily mystery writers, but their angst can definitely be classified as noir. Really opened up my mind on another side of the Japanese female mind.

Right now I'm reading ELLERY QUEEN'S JAPANESE GOLDEN DOZEN: The Detective Story World in Japan. Again, this is some early stuff.
Woohooo - thank you everyone for the suggestions - there's some fabulous ones in here that I've never heard of - and would you believe of all the minor miracles, our library has a couple of them, so I'm off down there today.
If your rationale for reading short stories is that you have a new puppy in the house, what could be better than an anthology of dog mysteries? BARK M FOR MURDER features stories by J.A. Jance, Virginia Lanier, Chassie West, and me!

Happy new puppy!

Lee Charles Kelley
Your blog was highly enticing as well Lee (one week into puppydom and things are finally starting to fall into a routine :) )

I actually managed to read an entire chapter of a book last night [VBEG]
As for Asian:
Robert Van Gulik's JUDGE DEE AT WORK.

And if you can wait, there will soon be a collecftion of Akitada stories (AKITADA AND THE WAY OF JUSTICE).
Judge Dee - now there's a character I've not revisited for many years - thank you for the reminder.
I hate to mention it, but my short story collection (AKITADA AND THE WAY OF JUSTICE) was just turned down because people don't want to buy short story collections.
Darn - it's interesting isn't it - my SO is a Science Fiction fan and the short story collection has always been a mainstay of his reading, but I don't remember reading that many Mystery short story collections over the years.
Los Angeles Noir is out now. It's a 21st Century look at the old noir tales. Gritty, disturbing, colorful, if you like dark colors. It features Patt Morrison, Denise Hamilton, Gary Phillips, and a raft of other notables.

LAndmarked for Murder is another anthology of note, produced by Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles, featuring members of the Southern California organization. The stories center around LA landmarks and takes you on a wild ride, sometimes a dark one, but some of the stories will stay with you. A couple are funny with memorable characters; some are mad chases that will have you breathless. Reviews have singled out Darrell James and G.B. Pool for delivering the goods.


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