A Moment on the Edge ~ #Mystery #Anthology #BookReview

6411705I’m not going to pretend that this was some life changing anthology, every story a priceless gem to learn from and cherish for a lifetime. I will say, however, that despite the less than stellar rating on Goodreads (3.86), this is not an anthology you want to read unless you are looking for more authors to add to your ‘to read’ list.

I think that this anthology is underrated (and under read) because many of the stories (and authors) are older. (I’d hate to think it’s because all the authors are women.) Some readers may consider them out of date. But can you ever really say that Shirley Jackson’s talent for creating suspense and Susan Glaspell’s biting insight are any less enjoyable because their stories were written so long ago? Not in my opinion. Not every story in this anthology is great, but there were many that I enjoyed, and I’m glad I read it. 5 stars!

Hilde at the Ghost Shore by Paula Cappa ~ Short Fiction Review

Hildie at the Ghost Shore: A Short Story by [Cappa, Paula]A good short story should leave a reader who is also a writer breathless to create their own next piece of short fiction, and this story did exactly that for me! It’s not really my style – mixing in blatant elements of the supernatural – but I totally didn’t suspect a thing or see the ending coming, which always makes me a fan. The writing is enjoyable, the story well crafted – needless to say, Paula Cappa has a new fan and I’d like to read more of her work.

As an added bonus, this short story is FREE on Kindle. As a double added bonus, another short story  – Abasteron House – is included in the free download. I didn’t like the second story as much, but it was again well written and masterfully crafted. 4.5 stars!

Blue Ringed Octopus Delight by James W Brown ~ Short Fiction Review

24241631While the premise of this story was certainly interesting, I love the title, and I enjoyed the story, I can’t say that I’ll be reading the novel that this short story was an intro for. The main character is fun – sharp, witty, wry humored – and the writing isn’t bad, but I’m not a huge fan of pulp noir, and that’s what this reads as. This is going to sound sexist, but I have to be honest – while reading this, I thought to myself, “This writer would definitely appeal more to male readers.”

However – if YOU are a fan of this style of writing, I suggest that you give this quick little story a chance. It’s not completely unpredictable, but I smell a writer who’s only going to get better and more inventive with time, which is always a good thing! 3.5 stars!

The Book Case by Nelson DeMille – Short Fiction Review

The Book Case (Kindle Single) by [DeMille, Nelson]It was the title of this short story that caught my attention. I recognized the (best selling) author’s name, it was free for Amazon Prime members on Kindle, and then I read the synopsis – not only is this a case about a book, someone is actually killed by a book case. How could I resist? I couldn’t!

This story is fun! A little cutesy (how could it not be with the double entendre), but with sharp wit, biting humor, and a nice little mystery to solve. It was a quick read that left me smiling. What more can you ask for? 4.5 stars!

Double Cross by Jeffery Deaver ~ Short Fiction Review

Double Cross (Kindle Single) by [Deaver, Jeffery]I saw this offered free on Kindle and thought to myself, “Hmm. The author who wrote The Bone Collector. The Lincoln Rhyme series. This can’t be bad.”

I feel like I stand corrected.

Maybe that’s too harsh. Or maybe not. The bottom line is I didn’t like it. I felt that the style was poor. I get the whole ‘writing in the voice of the character’ thing, but in this instance, in my opinion, it fell flat. The plot left me gasping for air – not because it was so suspenseful, but because it was stale. And the ending???? I thought that they made it clear that the ploy used in this ending was against the law in creative writing 101.

Short stories are hard. I get it. But reading them shouldn’t be. I was really disappointed by this one. At least it was free. 3 stars.

Little Lies by Heather Gudenkauf ~ Short Fiction Review

21484071This was the only thing written by Heather Gudenkauf that I had left to read. I’m a big fan of hers, but felt let down by her latest book. I needed to check and make sure she was the writer I remembered her as being, and I just got a Kindle which enabled me to finally get a hold of this novella (for 99 cents!), so I gave it a try. Bottom line – Gundenkauf is redeemed.

She does have a way with words. She knows how to develop characters and draw the reader into the story and make them care. This piece felt a little rushed, but, then again, there’s a thin line for novellas, and sometimes it’s hard to make a story fit certain criteria.

Even though I had already read the book that this was a prequel to, I enjoyed this quick little mystery. 4.5 stars!