Crime Fiction Friday: “Lena” by Preston Lang

 

mysterypeople_city.jpg

  • Selected and Introduced by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

With it being International Crime Fiction Month, we will be offering some selections from Akashic Press’ Mondays Are Murder blog series. The series challenges authors to write a short crime story under 750 words with a distinct setting. First we stop off at Heathrow Airport with Preston Lang’s tale of con artist correspondence.

“Lena” by Preston Lang

My dear. My sweetest intimate. I long to be with you. We will touch with a profound fondness. You are the house of my soul. I count on you to send the funds so that we may be together—85,000 United States Dollars….”

Read the rest of the story.

Crime Fiction Friday: “Harp in the Key of B” by George Masters

 

MysteryPeople_cityscape_72

  • Selected and Introduced by Scott Montgomery
Since the MysteryPeople crew will be in New Orleans next week at Bouchercon, we thought this week’s tale should be set there too. Luckily, we happened on one of our favorite writers, George Masters, who writes with a no-nonsense attitude that is compelling. From Akashics’ Monday’s Are Murder Section, he shows why the city is a perfect setting for crime.

“Harp in the Key of B” by George Masters

New Orleans, Louisiana

Thirty-five minutes before kickoff, my brother Pat got a phone call at the Superdome from his wife Trudy.

Trudy was alone in the back of her antique store on Magazine. Pat walked in, and the bell on the door tinkled.

“What’s the problem?”

Trudy dropped a manila envelope on the counter. “Our daughter, the fucking movie star. No pun intended, and no, you don’t want to see it. Came in this morning’s mail. I want to kill somebody, and I’m not sure who.”’

Read the rest of the story.

Crime Fiction Friday: “Riviera” by Julie Smith

MysteryPeople_cityscape_72

  • Selected and Introduced by Scott Montgomery
Akashic Books recently released Mississippi Noir, edited by Tom Franklin, a great addition to their Noir series. The volume features established talent like Ace Atkins and Megan Abbott and talented up and comers like William Boyle. To get us amped for the collection, Akashic posted this great story set on the Mississippi Gulf Coast by Julie Smith on their Mondays Are Murder Site.

“Riviera” by Julie Smith

‘”Shit on a stick,” Roy said. “It’s her.”

“You’re lyin’!” Forest said. “Not The Dutch Treat, please, Jesus. Anything but that!”

“AKA Spawn of Satan.”

They were at the Gulfport Shaggy’s, about to celebrate a decent haul on a pot deal with a late-morning bloody and there stood The Treat, looking less Dutch than usual, a little more redneck, talking to some senior stoner with ass-length white hair in a sectioned-off ponytail…’

Read the rest of the story.

Crime Fiction Friday: ‘The Life Saver’ by Lina Zeldovich

 

 

MysteryPeople_cityscape_72

  • Introduced by Scott M.

Our latest link to a story from Akashic’s ‘Mondays Are Murder’ Series in honor of International Crime Fiction Month takes us to Russia with a Muslim cleric as the lead. It is a great piece of suspense as well as a quirky meditation on religion.


“The Life Saver” by Lina Zeldovich

‘A knock on the door interrupted Imam Galim’s late night tea. Resting in his apartment attached to the Qolşärif mosque—the largest mosque not only in Tatarstan’s capital, but all of Russia—he was watching the moon rise over the Kazanka River and the nearby Blagoveshchensk Cathedral.

The stranger at his door had the pale face of a fugitive. “The Russian goons are after me, Imam,” he blurted out, clutching a large duffel bag to his chest, as if holding his most precious possessions thrown together minutes before he left home. “Please hide me!”’

Read the rest of the story.

Crime Fiction Friday: “Lluvia, Leche y Sangre” by John Manuel Arias

 

MysteryPeople_cityscape_72

  • Introduced by Scott M.

In honor of International Crime Fiction Month the rest of June’s Crime Fiction Fridays will share a link to a story on Akashic Books’ Mondays are Murder series, where each Monday they post a story under 700 words that take place in cities around the world. Our first stop is San Jose, Costa Rica, where to author John Manuel Aria, marriage and murder are not just an North American mix. He also gives one of the best descriptions of the taste of a cigarette.


“Lluvia Leche y Sangre” by John Manuel Arias

“Without realizing it, she had bludgeoned him to death with a statue of La Virgen de los Ángeles.

But how had it killed him? It was just a hollow, bronze replica of the black Madonna and child. Was it because it was filled with holy water? Or because she had slammed it like a machete into sugar cane?”

Read the rest of the story.

Crime Fiction Friday: “The Graveyard Shift” by Tom Leins

 

MysteryPeople_cityscape_72

  • Introduced by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

Lately it seems that Britain and hard boiled fiction go together. I don’t know if it’s the grey, rainy weather or the bad-ass working class accents, but British writers sure make it work. Here is a rising voice from across the pond, Tom Leins, who I discovered as part of Akashic’s Mondays are Murder series. If you like his brand of English nastiness, you can find more of it at his website, Things To Do In Devon when You’re Dead. 


“The Graveyard Shift” by Tom Leins

“The grave is waist-deep when the cramps start. I feel them spasm up my arms and across my shoulders as the shovel slams into rock-solid earth. This far down, it is packed hard, like concrete.

I glance over my shoulder at the ravaged-looking figure in the wheelchair. Maxwell Grinley has the glum look of a man who has outlived most of his vices and desires. The only thing he wants now is to see me dead. I don’t blame him—I was the one who put him in the chair.

He starts to cough noisily and greedily sucks oxygen into his ruined lungs from the cylinder balanced across his legs.

That is on me, too…”

Read the rest of the story.

Crime Fiction Friday: “On The House” by Seamus Scanlon

 

MysteryPeople_cityscape_72

  • Introduced by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up we’d like to introduce you to Irish playwright and crime writer Seamus Scanlon. He has tight style and a dark sense of humor that can be seen in this tale of a robber who hits the wrong place of business, first published for Akashic’s “Mondays are Murder” series.


“On the House” by Seamus Scanlon

“It was a rainy day in Galway. Nothing new—Galway and rain are synonymous, along with fog, mist, hailstones, slippery footpaths, pneumonia. The canals, the docks, the Atlantic, Nimmo’s Pier, the Corrib, and Woodquay—watery graves for all tastes: for boys who wanted to be girls; for girls, young and big bellied; for women fecund with malignancies; for men uplifted by big black angels.

I was in Babe’s for a haircut. My mother usually shaved mine, but she had the palsy after a week drinking Pernod. She smelt like an aniseed graveyard. I could not wait until she recovered—I had it cut every last day of the month regardless of circumstances…”

Read the rest of the story.