Six crime stories, all varied in setting, characterisation and period, from a Canadian publisher, available on Amazon for under a fiver.
The cover story ‘Lady Dick’ by Tony Parker is set in the 1950s, when two post-war OSS female operatives are working as private eyes. Present tense relating to the past – ‘We ranged through occupied Europe like angels of death. We owned the night.’ Some great lines, quite slick.
Next up is a switch, ‘A Ship called Pandora’ by Melodie Campbell, a science fiction outing, a Witness Protection system run by two hard cases, transporting their human cargo to the outer reaches of space for their protection. A nice twist ending.
‘Mop Jockey’ by Michael Ayoob is a raw tale told in first and third person about a cleaner with a deadly difference.
John H. Dromey’s ‘A Detour down Memory Lane’ is a lighthearted investigation into a John Doe’s death. I liked the line ‘a snot rag of prevarications’ meaning ‘a tissue of lies’. [The editor in me will forgive the use of ‘pouring’ instead of ‘poring’ – ‘pouring over a dusty ledger’ (p50)]. A likeable team, lawyer Stephanie and investigator Molly.
The story ‘Stars’ by Peter W.J. Hayes is a hard-nosed gangster tale where the anti-hero Tank learns that good or bad, lives are transient.
I found the last story highly enjoyable: ‘The Motor Court’ by Jennifer Collins Moore, where a body is found in a dumpster and two women, usually at loggerheads, reluctantly combine forces to discover the perpetrator. Good dynamic between octogenarian Betty and the owner of the motor court, Eleanor.
If you like crime shorts, try this magazine. Contrary to its title, it's monthly...