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THE MYSTERY BOX, a collection of short stories edited by Brad Meltzer for the Mystery Writers of America, is now on sale everywhere. I was honored and pleased to be invited to contribute, especially when I saw the list of other authors involved: Steve Berry, Jan Burke, Laura Lippman, Katherine Neville, R.L. Stine . . . in total, 21 of today’s best mystery authors, writing stories that riff on the question: What’s in the box?

My contribution, “Heirloom,” was a chance to do a couple of things I rarely do: first, write short stories at all (it’s not my format; my stories take longer to tell), and second, actually take that old advice to “write what you know.” My daily life is not exactly the stuff of thrillers, but several years ago, when my wife and I first bought our summer home on Cape Cod, we had a couple of experiences — and heard a terrible story — that inspired “Heirloom.” A young couple accepts a dinner invitation from their neighbors on the Cape, and learns some things about their new house that the Realtor didn’t tell them . . . It’s a creepy, scary story, and I hope you enjoy it.



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