Disclaimer: I am a part of this project.
Now that that’s out of the way, Death Among Usis a collection of short stories that are all somehow rooted in the murder mystery genre. The authors weren’t tethered by any other stipulation, aside from a request to not be gratuitous in our use of violence. The resulting anthology includes cross genre stories that venture into the historical, science fiction, and supernatural, in addition to contemporary stories of greed, revenge, and the most sordid of our shared human condition.
As it should be with any anthology, I owed it to the other writers to give their works a spin. I started at the beginning, and read the award-winning The Rose Slayer by Stephen Bentley, and the conclusion hit home for me in a way I can only describe as delightful. From there I branched out, helped myself to a sampling, and found that I’m in the company of quality.
The science fiction take on the theme, as crafted by Greg Alldredge, offered a bit of something different. As a lover of science fiction, I’m pleased with what Alldredge brings to the table.
Red Solo Cup, by Kelly Artieri stood out, as she is excellent at creating characters that come to life, a quality I find difficult to achieve in the short story medium.
Robbie Cheadle’s historical murder mystery, Justice is Never Served, is filled with a prose style that is so wonderfully crafted, I read it twice to let her lines settle in.
Michael Spinelli takes you to the desert, and leaves you there to die. His story, No Man’s Land, establishes the killer as a monster of sorts, using this language to distance killer from “normal” people, but the twist left me with the conclusion that in the grand scheme of things, we’re not so different from those we try to label as the horrific other.
The work of L. Lee Kane is gritty fun. The murders were not the main event for me, as casual violence exists throughout her narratives, and shows a world where such violence is all too normal.
The Thoughts of Emily Morales in Old Age, by Kay Castaneda is a page long train of thought that moved me in ways beyond that than I had initially expected. The quick piece is to be savored and thought upon.
The Neighbours, by Aly Locatelli is her writing debut, and a solid one at that. Her work as a book reviewer serves as a solid foundation for her own narratives. She knows what the reader wants, and how to get you there.
The posthumous works of ‘G’ left me intrigued about the mind of the author. I was especially interested in/entertained by the religious questions of Next.
I kind of fell into this project. I responded to an invitation on a message board, and ended up in the company of some impressive authors. This cast of international talent isn’t a group to whom I owe the above praise, and I will refrain from reviewing it on any platform where it may be deemed unprofessional. I just wanted to use my space here to say I’m touched to be among such company, and have been entertained by their work. You can find the Death Among Us here!
One thought on “Death Among Us: Short Story Anthology”
Justin, what a great post. I too was touched … by your observations and insight into the stories. I share many of your thoughts.
It’s a shame contributors ought not to review their own books as you do the anthology and all the authors proud. Not fawning or subservient, but in an intelligent structured fashion.
I look forward to working with you again in the future. By the way, your stories are damn good!