Editor: Andrew MacRae
Published by Darkhouse Books, Nov. 7, 2014
Editor Andrew MacRae compiled an eclectic array of short stories for his debut publication, THE ANTHOLOGY OF COZY-NOIR. He considers it a new sub-genre yet the reader will find the traditional PI down on his luck, a sweet lady with knitting needles in hand and a mix of herbs from the garden that are sure to kill. However, there are no cats to be stroked, thus, more die hard killers or misfits who can’t get their finger off the trigger. For that, readers who love grit can be thankful. This first publication comes out of the cannon full force. Each story is full of explosive delights. Character development at its best. Twist and turns to make you dizzy. Blunt force when it’s needed and endings that amuse, satisfy and console. Do I have my best liked and my least—yes. But why spoil the fun. This collection proves the writers know how to put a match to a fuse and write a damn good story. Watch out mystery magazine publishers, Darkhouse Books has stories that rival the best sellers of shorts. This go-anywhere book should fly off the shelves.
Submitted by Wil A. Emerson
Nov. 28, 2014
The Anthology of Cozy-Noir contributed by the Editor
Quips about each author’s contribution:
“The Roseville Way” by Robert Lopresti —
Honor among thieves even in a small pizza joint. Knitting needles outwit the thugs. Order a large on with pepperoni…can’t go wrong with this clever story.
“The Pact” by Judy Brownsword —
Know thyself. A harsh way to keep principles intact but resolve pays off. Crazy ideas lead to murder but can you pull the trigger? Blunt ending…go for it.
“Sweet Murder” by Magdalena Jones —
Delightful dessert of adverbs galore. Mystery editors be damned. Jones does ‘ly’ with humor and grace. This is a honey of a story!
“The Photograph” by Herschel Cozine —
Drop out PI and an unpleasant murder. Add a preacher’s wife who lies and a wily girlfriend who wants you to succeed. It’s all in the photo and it ain’t been shopped. Click, you’re caught.
“Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” by L.E.Schwaller —
The Moreau River can be a ghastly place with sticky gnats and fat mosquitos. It can also swallow a lot of secrets. Schwaller takes you there and back. His humor as biting as the gnats.
“The Ferry Tail Murder” by Percy Spurlark Parker —
Mistress of Detection W.W. Willowby needs to find who killed hot headed Abby. Fairy tales and ballgowns. Deception, Parker has a knack for originality and a spot on ending. It’s deadly clever.
“Male Leary Comes Home” by Michael Guillebeau —
The sea has toughened young Mr. Leary but at home he has to conquer ill weather, too. Can Male survive the rising tide between Queen and the Bronx, Guillebeau makes sure he handles it well.
“Noir is Dead” by Kate McCork —
Hard boiled tale, cancer sticks and tongue in cheek. But metaphors will kill you. A story of who’s who. Winner or looser….you be the judge. No disguise here…clever writing.
“Bravisimo” by David Himmel —
The Dennings have money and give a lot away. Bradley, serves them with a flair which leads to an assumption he is gay. Susie’s mistake–the next one kills her. Bradley knows it’s all about work ethics.
“Dead Dames Don’t Wear Diamonds” by Bobbi A. Chukran —
In a lonely place, there’s time to figure out what went wrong. Tee Bone’s wife offered to help Dan Taylor and takes him on the bull ride of his life only to discover he’s left alone in the saddle. As time goes by, he’ll figure out what haunts him. Thumbs up for the humor and guile.
“Complete Deceit” by Lynn Kinnaman —
A stately matron in a button down, ankle length dress wants to hire Peter Ellroy. Peter would rather pour another shot of bourbon than chase down a murderer. But there’s bills to pay. An unseen hand orchestras this mystery, But past and present come alive on a flash drive. Good ending for a wake.
“Little J’s Sweet Potato Pie” by Wenda Morrone —
Oh, Lordy, Sweet potato pie. Little J, the street kid, wants Gideon to have it one more time. Vidalia, the trannie, knows someone who will bake it. But it’ll cost a lot of money. J can get it if he outwits another thief. Easy as pie or will Little J stumble in the back alley? Oh my, this is clever.
“The Last Dinner” by John Haas —
The reading of a will isn’t necessarily for the living. Sam Carter, the Chili King has a bodyguard, Richard Lassiter, to protect him from animal activists and foodie fans. But he should fear his family. When he dies from a bad form of Mad Cow’s disease the will gathering awakes the family to the fact that a bowl of chili has more in it than cumin. It’s the dish that keeps on giving.
And thus, this final tale is the perfect ending for the short story gourmand. The dessert that makes you smile for a long time.
Cheers to Andrew and his delicious serving of sweet, marinated and talented!