Amanda Cross, The Collected Short Stories: Allow me to quote from her introduction: "I am not a particular devotee of the detective short story [ ... ] I have noticed that I tend to read stories when an author's longer works have captured my attention, when I find I like a certain author's style of writing, and, most compellingly, when my interest in her or his detective urges me to search out more adventures in that fictional life. Thus, for example, I have read Dorothy Sayers's short stories about Peter Wimsey, and even those about her wine salesman, Montague Egg, but her stories without either detective appeal less to me."
I can totally relate to this. Would also like to add that Amanda Cross (real name Carolyn G. Heilburn, former (?) professor of literature at some university or other (we can tell Amanda Cross is a pseudonym because it lacks that for an American crucial middle initial)) is a huge favourite of mine. Pity the library has so few of hers. I just love her writing style and the literary inclination. This collection of short stories is very good, recommended.
I've also read Mary Higgins Clark, The Second Time Around. Apparently she is the author of 22 world-wide bestsellers. How on earth? If this book is typical I don't see how. According to the jacket sleeve she's "telling a story that intertwines fiction with the stuff of real-life headlines in a novel of breathtaking suspense and surprises." Um, no. I had to plod my way through this one. I only finished it because I was at work and had nothing else to read. I'm going to have to read me another one to see if they are all this boring - dammit.
In this one the inventor of a cancer vaccine (see, she's lost me already) dies and appears to have swindled his company of money. A journalist starts researching his background and life for a story and discovers it's not that simple after all. The only thing that rings true about the book is the journalist's grief over her son who died at infancy. That's very moving. Other than that this is a negligable work of fiction.