Crime Wave 2: Women of a Certain Age, A Canada West Anthology

Oct 22, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

What do you do when again a gaggle of Canadian Sisters in Crime write the perfect mystery short the public has to read to believe? You put “em in a book, call it Crime Wave 2, and release it in time for the Halloween season. These sixteen authors have run the gambit with their work from poignant to extreme with protagonists that illustrate perfectly women of a certain age, temperament, relationship status, and mental stability along with varying their motivations from righting a wrong to balancing the scales to wielding a bit of comeuppance. The vignettes may have readers identifying, others taking notes, and some looking over their shoulder, but always entertained by the clever and compelling predicaments in which they place their “women of a certain age.” From preteens to middle-aged, retired to active, from pranks to revenge, accidents to flat out murder, each author poses fascinating questions about right, wrong, and that gray area in the middle. Thoughts: Each tale was great entertainment: short in length, long on creativity, varied in style, and always fun. I am interested in reading more from each of these authors. Check them out through the link on their name.

Crime Wave 2 Earns 5/5 Sleepless Nights…Enjoyable, Thought-provoking Fun!

Grace by R.M. Greenaway
It seems my sister Grace is the Queen of Pranks, especially when Mrs. Bellamy-Bridges, dubbed Mrs. BB, is the victim. Stomping on her vegetable garden might be mild revenge after Mrs. BB ratted us out to Dad about snatching something from her porch. Yet, upping her animosity with plans for a death trap, literally, may be more than she and I can handle. Thoughts: Growing up is hard when things just don’t go your way, but exacting revenge is more than just a prank. A well-written surprise.

The Air Affair by Shelley Adina
It’s 1895, and the airship is a comfortable way to travel for Georgia Brunel, aka Lady Langford, and in her delight, she opines how enjoyable it is being a widow, free from the antics of a strict, philandering husband, yet loaded with a title and money. Her traveling companion, her late husband’s aunt Millicent Brunel, quietly agrees. Unfortunately, Millie is disturbed seeing on board an old classmate, Mrs. Caroline Jannis…her nemesis, her torturer. Thoughts: The past is always difficult to confront, but any effort, however cold, can not be denied. Well-developed karma.

Third Time’s a Charm by PJ Donison
Lola Larson knows that the real estate business can be good and cutthroat. Her efforts to get the Belmonts into their dream home have been thwarted by a local contractor’s overbidding. Two realtors have been murdered, so she’s prepping this house with Stan Benson, an undercover RCMP officer. Thought: Intriguing scenarios that make buying a house a complex experience. Well-done.

Tethered by Marcelle Dubé
The tree had been in the park forever and had become the perfect place for retired teacher Esther to watch those enjoying the park named for her friend Jimmy Bates who decades ago died. The memory of his death has her “tethered” to this place, and now she sees history repeating itself. Thoughts: Childhood trauma and regrets may take a life time to resolve. Well-written with a fantastic ghostly twist.

Almost Invisible by Debra Henry
The “Raging Grannies” were planning a protest at Sunnyside Seniors’ Village, a private care facility charging residents a premium fee, but rumored to be taking public funds. The protest, however, is put on hold when one of their “Grannies” is found dead. Thoughts: Elder care is an important issue requiring close scrutiny and the right kind of advocates in brightly colored outfits. Contemporary issue spotlighted well.

Natural Consequences by Laurie Wood
Therapy is hard enough, especially when the couch is too soft and the room too colorful and no one is talking about feelings. Feelings that one’s daughter was duped and mistreated, and the perp was someone known to the family. Thoughts: Sexting, teenagers, and online anonymity are all complex issues, but so is the dynamic between a parent and child. Well-written, slow build-up to a shocking, karmic end.

Labour of Guilt by Mirjam Dikken
Time is of the essence. Ben’s murder trial is set for three days. Deb and Roger have found they’ve a calling for helping victim’s find justice when official justice fails, but they’ve not been lucky enough to find the evidence to clear Ben of fraud and murder. But, they have an idea. Thoughts: With India’s incongruences as the backdrop, murder can be easily masked…maybe. Intriguing with a surprise partnership.

Little Monsters by K.L. Abrahamson
Mary just wanted a quiet retirement, but as a retired RCMP staff sergeant, everyone seemed eager for her help. Sadly, the disappearance of nine-year-old Gary, who charmed everyone as Torko the Terrible in the school Halloween play, is a case for which she has a queasy feeling. And no one seems eager to help find him. Thoughts: Small communities are close-knit, wary of newcomers, and often portrayed as creepy. This is not any different. Engaging drama…leave the lights on for this one.

The Hand Job by Nuala McNaughton
Operation Second Hand. Wanda did a lot for her husband Walter, yet little was reciprocated. Her plan to make things even requires precision timing. He said, “She could handle anything.” Thoughts: Never count out the first wife. Thumbs up for McNaughton’s first published short story!

The Fair Rosamund and the Summer of Love by Elizabeth Elwood
It was a bittersweet reunion with the Rosamund George had loved for decades, but now she’s no longer encumbered by any husband and telling a tale of woe about her daughter, Rosebud. He knew the daughter all too well, and was eager to help Rosamund…too eager. Thoughts: George’s rose-colored glasses may as well be blinders. Well-written with a surprise “rude awakening” twist.

Terminal Lucidity by Winona Kent
Beryl is quite deeply asleep, and her doting nephews believe she may not live the night. However, their doting isn’t out of love, it’s greed. They are desperate to learn if Auntie Beryl had mentioned anything about their uncle’s ill-gotten gains. Thoughts: Karma comes in a variety of flavors: sweet, sour, and downright foul. There are times when karma so perfect, it can be all of that and more. Very enjoyable karma with a giggle ending.

Thinkin’ Like a Red by Karen Keeley
Carson’s daddy was gettin’ outta jail today having served thirty days for distributing Commie literature. Of course, he didn’t realize that’s what he was doing, but nonetheless reputations are ruined, a family shamed, and a suspicious death causes rumors to grow. Thoughts: Desperation can cause one to leap before thinking. Well-written narrative with answers providing surprise closure.

The Pompeii Beauty by Merrilee Robson (Some of Merrilee’s stories have been featured in Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast)
The Newcastle News reports a theft at the Valium Aelium Museum near Hadrian’s Wall: a beaded bracelet and a rare resin cast of of a body known as the Pompeii Beauty. There is a truth to be told, Dr. Allard knew, and a security guard in jeopardy, but telling it would cast doubt on her mental stability. Thoughts: Not time, space, or corporeal challenges can keep lovers apart. Creative, well-written twist with a heartwarming end.

No Traps, No Spray by C.J. Papoutsis
Divorced, in debt, and struggling to make a success of her ex-husband’s extermination business. Today’s client is Mr. Politano, “everyone calls me Angel,” who complains of a spider infestation. She’s warned about the house by the neighbor, but it’s a paying gig. She’s eager to help her client, but what she finds in the basement makes her reconsider. Thoughts: PETA approved, and Stephen King, too! Well-written cold case mystery with creepy crawlers.

Done and Dusted by Charlotte Morganti
Naomi hopes to transform the neighborhood into a younger/richer restricted community. Wealthy Mrs. Aberthromby is promoting a monarchy and environmentally un-friendly chemicals. Barbara is working to drastically restrict school curriculum. The world needs a little clean-up…Ding, dong, karma calling! Thoughts: Dangerous snobs—Zero, Karma—Three! Clever with a satisfying conclusion.

Midsummer Day’s Dream by J.E. Barnard
It’s community theater, and the drama can be on as well as off the stage. Steve and his wife, owners of the local B&B, have always had artistic people as guests, however Dougie’s late night “midsummer” outburst could cause bad reviews they can ill afford. But, the “curtain opens” on the deaths out on the road. This causes more than a bad review. Thoughts: Shakespearean references were very clever way to illustrate the reality. ”Oh, what a tangled web we weave…” Ok, I know it’s not Shakespeare, but it fits.

Alert! Crime Wave, the first anthology from members of the Canada West Chapter of Sisters in Crime, is available on Amazon HERE. Every couple of year, a tidal wave of compelling mystery shorts are released. It’s an excellent set with two of the authors earning Crime Writers of Canada Excellence Awards, including Marcelle Dubé author of this sets Tethered.

Sisters in Crime–Canada West Chapter is open to brothers, as well, and to those who live outside of Western Canada. We are “an international writing community of more than 3,600 worldwide members. Our mission is to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers. Our goal is to bring the Western Canadian community of authors, librarians, booksellers and readers together.”

“Although our focus is on women crime writers, we welcome all writers and book lovers. We support and encourage writers at every stage of their career. Chapter members benefit from writing challenges, workshops, retreats, guest speakers, and member discounts.”

To enter to win an ebook copy of Crime Wave 2, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “crime wave,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 29, 2022. You must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up this week perfect for Halloween listening.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link. You can also click here to purchase the book.

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying year 2 of retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband of 26+ years.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

1 Comment

  1. We have a winner!

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