FORGOTTEN BOOKS #375: THE WEB SHE WEAVES Edited by Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini

the web she weaves
I picked up this anthology from 1983 at the American Association of University Women Book Sale. As you can see from the variety of stories, Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini aptly subtitled The Web She Weaves with “An Anthology of Mystery and Suspense Stories By Women.” Some classics like Marie Belloc Lowndes’s “The Lodger” and “The Woman in the Store” by Katherine Mansfield are familar. But stories like Craig Rice’s “His Heart Could Break” and Celia Fremlin’s “The Locked Room” were new to me. Many of the major mystery and suspense writers are represented: Agatha Christie, Helen McCloy, Charlotte Armstrong, Patricia Highsmith, and P. D. James. If you’re looking for an anthology of diverse but excellent stories, I recommend this one. GRADE: A
Introduction / [Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini
The lodger / Marie Belloc Lowndes
The duchess at prayer / Edith Wharton
The man in the Inverness cape / Barones Orczy
The woman in the store / Katherine Mansfield
Murder in the Fishing Cat / Edna St. Vincent Millay
The lipstick / Mary Roberts Rhinehart
Postiche / Mignon G. Eberhart
Suspicion / Dorothy L. Sayers
Harlequin’s Lane / Agatha Christie
His heart could break / Craig Rice
Chinoiserie / Helen McCloy
Good-bye, Miss Lizzie Borden / Lillian de la Torre
McGowney’s miracle / Margaret Millar
St. Patrick’s Day in the morning / Charlotte Armstrong
The possibility of evil / Shirley Jackson
The snail-watcher / Patricia Highsmith
The locked room / Celia Fremlin
The fall of a coin / Ruth Rendell
Double jeopardy / Susan Dunlap
My neighbor, Ay / Joyce Harrington
Norman and the killer / Joyce Carol Oates
Cattails / Marcia Muller
Great-aunt Allie’s flypapers / P.D. James.

14 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #375: THE WEB SHE WEAVES Edited by Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini

  1. Deb

    Great stuff in this anthology!

    THE POSSIBILITY OF EVIL is one of Shirley Jackson’s very best short stories. It reminds me somewhat of Rebecca West’s THE SALT OF THE EARTH in that they both involve supposedly very “good” women who, because of their twisted definition of “good”, do great damage to the people around them.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    Nice choice. I’ve read a number of anthologies Pronzini was involved in putting together, including a couple with Muller, but don’t know this one. I’ll check it out. It’s a good collection of authors.

  3. Jerry House

    Some great stories here, George. Of those I’m familliar with, top marks go to McCloy, Armstrong, and Jackson.

    I haven’t come across a Bill Pronzini anthology I had not thoroughly enjoyed.

    1. george Post author

      Jerry, same here. Bill Pronzini (and Marcia Muller) are underrated editors. I own and have read several of their excellent anthologies.

  4. maggie

    I”m packing away my reference books now, and was happy to see I had 1001 midnights which I think was perhaps just pronzini. As I recall it was very hard to find and used to be pricey.

    I may have some anthologies with gorey covers, I’ll email you about them.

    1. george Post author

      Maggie, Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini worked together on 1001 MIDNIGHT. I had a few articles in that book, too. Paperbacks with Gorey covers have become Hot Commodities!


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