Short Stories

by Diane D. DiBiase, ed.
Poisoned Pen Press, March 2017, $18.95

Bound by Mystery is a celebratory anthology commemorating Poisoned Pen Press’ 20th anniversary. Edited by Diane D. DiBiase, it includes an impressive number of stories, 34 in total, rich with diversity and high on both entertainment and quality. The majority of the tales reside firmly within the mystery genre, but it also features a handful of outliers that are something else entirely. The writers are all Poisoned Pen Press alumni and include luminaries Laurie R. King, Kerry Greenwood, James Sallis, and so many others I blush at the prospect of listing only a few.

Reavis Z. Wortham’s “Gold Digger” begins with what appears to be a passion-fueled murder at an East Texas barn dance in 1934 and ends with a surprising twist in the same barn 80 years later. “Gone Phishing” by Tim Maleeny, perhaps my favorite story in the anthology, features a scheming, small-time hacker who, after stealing the digital identity of a pedophile, finds himself the target of a sinister gang. It ends with a satisfying climactic twist and an even more satisfying slice of vigilante justice. Vicki Delany’s “Her Mama’s Pearls” is an eerie, atmospheric horror tale grown from the seeds of murder. When a traveling salesman stops in a washed-up roadside town he finds a celebration for the prison release of a woman convicted of murdering her abusive husband. The town is more, or perhaps less, than it appears and what happens leaves the salesman wondering about his own sanity.

Ben Boulden
Teri Duerr
5660
DiBiase, ed.
March 2017
bound-by-mystery
18.95
Poisoned Pen Press

I’ve been binging a lot lately on British mystery series that are just now being made available to U.S. audiences.

These series are distributed by Acorn with DVD and Blu-ray sets available from select ret

gripping-dramas-on-acorn

Tom Straw may be the best-known unknown writer.

He’s had seven novels that went straight to the New York Times Best Seller list, with one landing in the No. 1 slot. The books were hugely popular and the ch

tom-straw-the-author-behind-castle

hessjoanwithdog

JOAN HESS (1949-2017)

From St. Martins Press:

Author Joan Hess has died. A pioneer in the mystery genre and a much loved fixture at mystery conventions for decades, she was the author of forty-thre

JOAN HESS (1949-2017)

From St. Martins Press:

Author Joan Hess has died. A pioneer in the mystery genre and a much loved fixture at mystery conventions for decades, she was the author of forty-three books, o

joan-hess-obituary