September 22, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Texas Crime Chronicles

Current Status
In Season
Warner Books
, Nonfiction, Pop Culture
We gave it an A-

These are ”crimes of modern Texas,” former Texas Monthly editor Gregory Curtis promises in his introduction to Texas Crime Chronicles, the riveting collection of 17 true-crime stories culled from the award-winning magazine’s archives. ”Poison and blunt instruments are the murder weapons, not six-shooters, and the only horse here is a victim.” The culprits, many of them disturbingly charismatic, range from a sleazy massage-parlor king sentenced to death for offing a masseuse to a charming bank robber known as the Dapper Bandit to a conniving mom who plotted to kill the mother of her daughter’s rival for the high school cheerleading squad. But it’s the writers themselves, who fully flesh out their subjects’ motivations and machinations, who steal the show. A-

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