Shadow Alley, Compiled by Lucy Sussex

Reviewed by Tash Hughes

Shadow Alleyis a collection of short stories relating to crime and involving young investigators or witnesses.

Editor Lucy Sussex approached a number of authors for this book, requesting a crime story involving youth. For those authors with an existing detective character, she requested a retrospective story of the character, although only two such stories are included. Fans of Phryne Fisher and Verity Birdwood will enjoy insights into the development of these sleuths.

For each story, Sussex introduces the author first with a brief bio of their work. After the story, the writer includes an afterward relating to the story and this adds interest to the collection.

Each story is unique in both style and content; most are gripping page-turners. The collection includes work by Garry Disher, Kerry Greenwood, Jennifer Rowe and Jenny Pausacker. Although she is a published writer herself, none of Sussex’s work appears in the anthology.

As a collection, the book is not only about crime but also about youth finding their identities and learning about how other people act and react to situations. Sussex wanted the book to balance the power and understanding of detectives with the powerless and confusion often felt by teenagers.

Great reading and very entertaining.

Shadow Alley, by Lucy Sussex (ed)
Omnibus, 1995