“The Big Book of Reel Murders” is a collection of mystery stories that have also been made into movies. Otto Penzler assembled a fascinating group of “crime fiction” literature and film. The stories are compelling and page after page is filled with suspense, action, and non-stop twists and turns. The best part is that after reading, one can view the film adaptation of the same work. Some of the films take some searching to access, but many can easily be found on streaming services or even the collection of the local public library.
My usual position on film adaptations of literature is that the book is always better, but for some of the examples in this book, I was familiar with only one half of the pair, either film only or literature only, so I eagerly sought out the other half of the pair. I found that a good film can indeed be as good as the book, and that, to my surprise, I did like some of the films as much if not more than I liked the book.
The anthology of literature by itself is compelling and quick to read. I like to have collections such as this on hand so that I can finish a story while waiting to catch a plane, before an appointment, or during a child’s lesson.
I received a review copy of “The Big Book of Reel Murders” from Otto Penzler, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, and Vintage Crime/Black lizard. I recommend it wholeheartedly. Readers who love crime fiction and film aficionados who love a good “crime” movie will not be disappointed by this anthology.