by Cynthia Chow
Details on how to win a copy of Family Matters at the end of this review, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL.
This third anthology of the New York Tri-State Chapter of Sisters-in-Crime contains established authors alongside the up-and-coming. The spirit of New York and its ethnicities, a dichotomy where many immigrants want to blend into American culture while some hold fast to old traditions, is captured in a collection that highlights the darkest facets of family life. Domestic abuse is exposed and wielded in all its forms; by spouses, siblings, offspring, and parents.
A young man feels sentenced to a life of slavery in Triss Stein’s Eldercare, as he tends to his harridan mother. He refuses to give up the chance to inherit the Brooklyn home he believes he deserves. His solution is to put his extermination license to use in order free some beds in a nursing home. His success will also mean his failure.
Elizabeth Zelvin brings back her characters for the murder of an Alcoholics Anonymous psychologist in Death Will Fire Your Therapist. She explores a counselor’s Catch-22—a duty to break confidentiality and gain trust, all in an effort to save lives.
One of the most menacing and foreboding tales, written by Terrie Farley Moran, tells of a family’s car trip in Thanksgiving on the Throgs Neck Bridge. They are trapped with the drunk and abusive father, who’s just looking for a reason to explode.
The tone is lightened slightly as a geology professor who believes she was deceived into marriage for a green card plots to use airport security to enact her revenge in Lindsay A. Curcio’s We all Have Baggage.
Also on the lighter side, in Catherine Maiorisi’s Murder Italian Style, Detective Chiara Corelli listens to the accusations of an Italian mother who believes her son was murdered by his nearly ninety year-old mother-in-law—poisoned during the traditional Italian Sunday dinner.
One of the more unique tales is Cynthia Benjamin’s Killing Short. A Wall Street white collar criminal uses his wealth to buy himself a “bail-sitter” who turns a multi-million dollar apartment into a lavish jail cell. He also buys a fall guy, but he discovers is that not everybody has a price.
The darkest tale closes out the anthology with editor Anita Page’s Their Little Secret, as a daughter witnesses the disintegration of her parents’ marriage and finds her greatest wish is also her worst nightmare.
While many anthologies contain stronger stories to compensate for less compelling tales, here readers will find something appealing in each. The worst of crimes seem to be hidden in the most normal of homes. Whether dark or humorous, these tales are as fascinating as they are entertaining. All are at a superior level of writing from the best of an organization created to support female mystery writers. Perhaps my own crime is not listing all twenty of the engaging and skillfully written stories of this collection.
To enter to win a copy of Family Matters, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Family,” or comment on this article. We will be picking 2 winners–1 ebook and 1 print winner–so please specify which you prefer. The winners will be chosen September 20, 2014. U.S. residents only.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.
Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL!