Thank you to @StephenBentley8 @Shalini_G26 for my spot on this Blog Tour.
Who knew death could be so eclectic?
Relish this mesmerising murder mystery mash-up of short stories.
Murder and mystery have been the staple of literature and films for years. This anthology of short stories will thrill and entertain you. Some will also make you laugh out loud. Others will stop and make you think.
Think of this murder mystery short story anthology as a book version of appetisers or starters, hors d’oeuvre, maze, or antipasti. It can be read as fillers between books or, as is the case in some countries, as a bookish meze – in its own right.
There’s murder mystery styles and locations to suit all tastes: detective fiction, serial killers, sci-fi, histfic, England, Los Angeles, SAN Francisco, The Great Lakes, Las Vegas, the Nevada desert, Mexico and more in an exquisite exposition of the art of short story telling.
These stories come from an international cast of authors; some with bestselling books, others are emerging or new talents. Their roots, cultures, and life experiences are as diverse as their writing styles.
But one thing that binds them together: they know how to tell a story.
The ten authors who have contributed to the anthology are:
The stories include the 2019 SIA Award Winning Murder Mystery Short Story ‘The Rose Slayer’ by Stephen Bentley
Each author introduces his or her stories and the theme that lays behind them. By the time you finish the book, you will agree the result is a mesmerising murder mystery mash-up.
This is certainly a colourful collection of stories. A good introduction to new authors that you may or may not have read before. Some stories are based on true crime, some have witty dialogue, a mixture of genres paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi. Some dark drama, complex writing with a little side serving of revenge mixed in the blend of some. There is something here to whet any appetite. I couldn’t include every writer’s contribution or this review would be longer than the short stories. But every tale is well thought out, well written and a pleasure to read.
What I did enjoy is that some of the stories were actually linked to each other, followed on in some way. Starting off with Stephen Bentley’s three stories which had to include a specific sentence in each one “When I saw the bouquet of seven roses, I knew exactly who had murdered Mrs O’Connell” I found myself reading each story to see how the sentence would be added and there it was, very cleverly woven into each one. I read all three of these in one sitting. I actually liked that I could pick to read either a couple of short stories or just one. Depending on the time I had.
I did enjoy the Robbie Cheadle stories as they all had some historical/supernatural truth about them. These were slightly darker stories and a little gruesome or would have been for the poor person suffering, An Eye for an Eye with Mother Abigail an absolute tyrant and the poor chimney sweep boys, who had to climb the chimneys to clean them. The Murder of the Monk, which is based on the nursery rhyme Little Jack Horner.
I did enjoy Aly Locatelli’s story. The Neighbours – about a man having an affair with his neighbour and always promising he would leave his wife. She knew he never would. But the twist at the end I thought was entertaining, although not sure that should be the right word!
The spine tingling Monitaur by Michael Spinelli – where strange noises and happenings can be heard over the baby monitor. Not sure I will I use my daughters monitor next time I have my grandson.
I have only mentioned a few of the stories here, but if you enjoy reading something where the theme is murder/mystery, but you don’t know who you want to read, or are looking for a new author to try there are plenty here to give you a glimpse of their style, or if you just want a few short stories rather than a large tomb of a book for when you are pushed for time. I can highly recommend this, I liked the fact that even though it’s murder/mystery many sub-genre’s are covered, sci fi, supernatural, true crime, something to suit all tastes. Before each writers stories they give you a little bit of information about themselves, which I thought was a nice touch.
The only downside for me some is that some of the stories were too short, it doesn’t give you a chance to get to know characters etc. But I have to admit all of these authors are new to me, so I now know who to look out for. I think a few of these stories could possibly be expanded into longer stories. I am guessing it may be harder sometimes to write a short story than it is for a longer one, especially if you are limited to the amount of words allowed. So if you want a taster session of what these authors are capable of then this is the perfect book.
About The Authors
Stephen Bentley: Stephen Bentley is a former UK Detective Sergeant, barrister, and author of a bestselling undercover cop memoir. He also writes crime fiction. He can be found on both Twitter and Instagram
Greg Alldredge: Greg Alldredge grew up in the United States Reading all the excellent science fiction and Fantasy of the pas decades. He hopes to add his voice, in a small way, to the giants of the genre’s. He wants to write stories he himself would want to read and hopes to be successful as a storyteller first. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram.
Kelly Artieri: Kelly Artieri is a professional illustrator and award-winning author of a personal memoir ‘A spot in My Heart’. Living in Buffalo, New York area, Kelly is a passionate storyteller about real life. Now she is using her creative voice at storytelling murder mystery style. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram
Robbie Cheadle: Robbie, short for Roberta, Cheadle is a South African author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children. She has also authored the Silly Willy series and a fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram
Michael Spinelli: Michael Spinelli is married with two children, a transplant from New York to Florida. Mike enjoys family time, reading, watching movies and of course, writing things that increase your heart rate. He can be found on Twitter
L. Lee Kane: L. Lee Kane, M.A., known as Linda, is the author of several adult fiction books, and children’s books. She lives with her husband, two dogs, and seven horses in the Central Valley of California. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram
Kay Castaneda: Kay Castaneda is retired from a career as a college writing instructor. She earned a B.A and M.A in English at Indiana University. Her publications include poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction in literary journals plus articles about education for scholarly reference books. She can be found on Twitter
Aly Locatelli: Aly Locatelli is a 25 year old book blogger and reviewer from the UK. She has been doing that for over five years and now started freelancing as a beta-reader, editor and proof reader. Aly also aspires to be a writer. This is the first time any of her work has been published. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram
Justin Bauer: Justin Bauer was born in Columbus, Ohio, he studied English Literature at the Ohio State University, graduating in 2016. He is the author of three books. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram
Posthumously by ‘G’: ‘G’ or Gerry died in 2017. He used the name ‘G’ when writing short stories. This is how he described himself not long before his untimely death: G is a 69 yo Hippie, world traveller, straight talker/writer, with no regrets. He’s been writing since he found a sharp crayon and empty wall space.
An interesting collection.