Best-selling novelist (and Vietnam veteran) Nelson DeMille was chosen this year by the Mystery Writers of America to edit (and choose the selections for) <I>The Rich and the Dead<$> (Grand Central, 384 pp., $24.99, hardcover; $15.99, paper), a top-notch collection of mystery and thriller short stories. All of the stories deal with (as the title indicates) rich folk and murder.
The writers include DeMille himself, Lee Child, David Morrell (the creator of Rambo) and Michael Connelly, the creator of LAPD detective (and Vietnam veteran) Harry Bosch, the star of a stellar collection of sterling police procedurals, several of which (including The Black Echo ) have strong Vietnam War themes. Bosch was a tunnel rat in Vietnam.
Neither DeMille’s entry, “Death Benefits, ” nor Connelly’s, “Blood Washes Off, ” deal with Vietnam, although Bosch is the star of the Connelly story. Both are creatively and cleverly told and contain surprise endings.