Best American Mystery Stories 2004 edited by Nelson DeMille Houghton Mifflin $140 This collection offers 20 stories from veterans such as Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathon King, Jeff Abbott, Scott Wolven and Dick Lochte, as well as a selection from promising newcomers. Most are suspenseful and psychologically rich tales of con men and low-level crooks, rather than classic whodunits. One highlight is Christopher Coake's All Through the House, a chilling, multilayered account of a family massacre whose shifting perspectives, flashbacks and flash-forwards create a haunting effect. Another is Richard Lupoff's The Incident of the Impecunious Chevalier, a clever pastiche of Edgar Allan Poe's fictional investigator C. Auguste Dupin. Lupoff's story features a young Sherlock Holmes calling on his literary ancestor to track down a legendary jewelled black bird. Jeffrey Robert Bowman's Stonewalls offers an alternative explanation of the cause of General Stonewall Jackson's death from friendly fire.