AMERICAN CRIME STORIES
This simplified edition © Oxford University Press 2000 Third impression 2001
First published in Oxford Bookworms 1996
This second edition published in the Oxford Bookworms Library 2000
"Criminals in the United States of America are much the same as criminals in any other place. They lie, cheat, steal, carry guns, break into houses - and murder people. Sometimes they get caught, sometimes they don't. And some of them have bad dreams for the rest of their lives.
These seven stories by well-known American writers show us the many faces of crime. There are murders of passion, and of revenge; murders that look like suicides or accidents. There is robbery and mugging, fear and hate, love and laziness. There are the innocent and the guilty -- but which are which? And there are the detectives: the amateur Louise, who won't accept that her cousin's death was suicide, and who goes looking for a lipstick; and the coolly professional private eye, who knows whose hand is behind the machine guns and hand grenades on a stormy night in Couffignal.
We begin with Death Wish, with a man leaning over the Morrissey Bridge late at night -- a man with dark thoughts of suicide in his mind..."
Death Wish. Lawrence Block 1
Death on Christmas Eve. Stanley Ellin 11
The Heroine. Patricia Highsmith 21
Ride the Lightning. John Lutz 33
The Lipstick. Mary Roberts Rinehart 49
Lazy Susan. Nancy Pickard 69
The Gutting of Couffignal. Dashiel Hammett 74
ACTIVITIES: Before Reading 106
ACTIVITIES: While Reading 107
ACTIVITIES: After Reading 110
ABOUT THE AUTHORS 115
ABOUT BOOKWORMS 117