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short stories

by Josh Pachter


KRL readers might perhaps know me as the editor of a recent series of “inspired by” anthologies: The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell (Untreed Reads, 2020), Only the Good Die Young: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Billy Joel (Untreed Reads, 2021), and The Great Filling Station Holdup: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Jimmy Buffett (Down and Out Books, 2021).

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by Sandra Murphy


Barb Goffman leads the way with “A Tale of Two Sisters.” Emma is getting married. She wanted just friends and family, but her mother had other ideas. Instead of twenty people, there are two hundred guests. Mom has ‘The Look’ that can make grown men cower. Emma didn’t have a chance.

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The Year I Rediscovered Short Stories

IN THE September 16 ISSUE

FROM THE 2020 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze
SECTIONS

by Victoria Hamilton


Here is the latest installment of our new column, Top 5 Mysteries I Have Read During the Pandemic, this one from mystery author Victoria Hamilton. As we continue to spend most of our time at home, we are all looking for book suggestions so we asked mystery authors and reviewers to share the top 5 mysteries they have read during this pandemic.

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by Lise McClendon


How to wring something positive out of one huge negative—that was the challenge I set for myself this spring. America, and the world, had shut down, locked down, were sheltering in place like victims of a mass shooting. But this enemy was invisible. The coronavirus, COVID-19, had arrived.

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by Cynthia Chow


Steve Levitan would be the first to declare that his Golden Retriever Rochester was responsible for turning around his human’s life. After two miscarriages led to now ex-wife’s compulsive shopping habit, Steve wielded his considerable computer skills to hack into three credit bureaus and block her ability to spend. Unfortunately, that also led to his being caught and imprisoned for a year, forcing him to rebuild his life into an administrator at Eastern College.

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by Sandra Murphy


This week we have reviews of three Sisters in Crime anthologies-Deadly Southern Charm a Lethal Ladies Mystery anthology from Sisters in Crime Central Virginia Chapter edited by Mary Burton and Mary Miley, Fatally Haunted from the Los Angeles Sisters in Crime Chapter edited by Rachel Howzell Hall, Sheila Lowe, and Laurie Stevens, and Fishy Business: 22 Tales of Murder and Mayhem by the Rising Stars of Mystery the fifth Guppies Chapter anthology.

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by Kathleen Costa
& Judy Penz Sheluk


Are you a fan of assortments? Do you like packages of treats with its variety of flavors, styles, or types? Popsicles? Cookies? Donuts? Ok, food seems to be my most popular way to pick up assortments. It’s such a great way to try something new. But, how about books or short stories? I personally love getting the collection sets that include work from various authors, new-to-me especially. Case in point: The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense.

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by Kathleen Costa


No matter what they call it: Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, Samhain; no matter who they are: witches, ghosts, druids, talented or amateur, good or evil. These short stories are exciting and great entertainment. Like most short stories, these are little adventure snippets with your favorite characters from your favorite authors, and some totally new. Although background and character connections are not revisited like in full-length books, it’s not required for the fan’s and newbie’s enjoyment because a summary is provided to set up enough details to get you off to a good start.

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by Doward Wilson


Ten Devilish Tales of Crime and Deception is a good start on describing this book of short stories. The characters are pleasant, unassuming people quietly carrying on with their lives. They rarely register in your daily life, but it’s the “Quiet Ones” you should watch out for because everyone is someone, and they all have an agenda.

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by LynDee Walker


Cooler breezes, shorter days, and pumpkin spice everything naturally gets mystery readers thinking about Halloween—but nine bestselling cozy authors have had jack-o’-lanterns on the brain since spring when they cooked up the idea for a Halloween mystery anthology.

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by Diana Hockley



Margo Power, publisher of Murderous Intent Mystery Magazine founded a Short Story Mystery Fiction Society in 1996. The magazine, Mysterical-e was a spin-off from this and resulted in the Derringer Awards for stories up to twenty thousand words. The society has now grown to around one thousand six hundred members.

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by Marilyn Meredith



This is a most unusual group of stories that will give you insights into different cultures and times. “Angelina,” the first one, is about a young girl wounded during World War II.

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by Cynthia Chow


The characters who were introduced in the full-length novel, Lawn Order, actually have been appearing in short stories since 1990, and here readers will have the fun in this collection that perfectly captures the rather dysfunctional relationship between fifty-something sisters Margaret and Bitsy.

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by Cynthia Chow



While the term “cozy-noir” may seem contradictory, it does make perfect sense in this collection of thirteen stories that embrace the mix of dark moodiness within familiar suburban settings. While the stories often take place in the small communities familiar to most cozy mysteries, often simmering just beneath the surface is a sense of menace and betrayal that edges them over to the noir side of fiction.

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