Review of WHEN A STRANGER COMES TO TOWN, Edited by Michael Koryta

This was a stellar collection of short stories by some really famous authors like Dean Koontz and Lisa Unger. I don’t usually review anthologies because I don’t usually read them, but this one spoke to me because it came from the Mystery Writers of America and it promised to introduce me to authors new to me. Wow! The promise was fulfilled and now I have a list of authors to look for in novel-length books. Any author who can write a short story and capture my attention as this group of stories did has a “tip of the hat” from me because I have not read a collection of short stories since high school and that was required reading. I was absolutely mesmerized by these stories, most of which were spooky, scary and page turners. This collection reminded me of the Alfred Hitchcock collections that I used to read, in a really good way. Some stories were short, others were fairly long but they all promoted the theme that is in the title. Strangers can be a new person in town, at your door or a new neighbor. The book was relatable, with excellent characterization even in the format of short stories. I had my favorites, but I will keep mine a secret and let you choose your own. So many good ones to choose from! In fact, I was sad when I read the last story. Fans of anthologies with a mystery or suspense involved will devour this collection and want more from the next collection.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Some of the stories are pretty scary in a “gotcha” kind of way, so I would rate this book a PG-13. Also includes expletives which are widely used in some stories more than in others.

Available tomorrow, April 20, 2021!

Purchase Links:



Google Play Store

Powells Books

Barnes and Noble


The list of writers includes: S.A. Cosby, Amanda Witt, Alafair Burke, Smita Harish Jain, Michael Connelly, Jaqueline Freimor, Dean Koontz, Joe R. Lansdale, Emilya Naymark, Lisa Unger, Bryan Quertermous, Tilia Klebenov Jacobs, Lori Roy,Paul A. Barra, Michael Kortya, Elaine Togneri, Jonathan Stone, Steve Hamilton, Attica Locke, Tina Debellegarde, and Joe Hill.


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