Stacks of Cord Wood

By David Larson Chapter One The bodies were stacked like cord wood. Four high like dominoes. Except these weren’t flat like dominoes. Nor like pizza boxes. More like the old glass bottles soda pop came in. Try to visualize four odd-shaped potatoes stacked. I’ve been a homicide detective for twelve years now. My partner andContinue reading “Stacks of Cord Wood”

Victor Pauline Reports

By Courtney Webb It was the end of a dry, hot summer in Central Valley. Everything was dusty and reports of fires in the mountains blared from every newscast. In Tranquility, California, a small Central Valley town, Sam Reynolds stared at the morning news with a scowl. The paper was spread out on the kitchenContinue reading “Victor Pauline Reports”

Sometime After Midnight

By Steve Bates It was the police sirens that woke him. Their ever louder Banshee shrieks sliced through the early morning silence like a switchblade. He could hear as they snaked their way closer, until they screamed just outside the room. Then the sirens stopped. They were here. As Cole Edwards sat on the edgeContinue reading “Sometime After Midnight”

How My New Life Began

By Andy Betz He eventually had to come to work again.  He knew I was waiting here for him.  Where else would he go?  I just wish he would not take so long.  We had a long night of discussions and decisions ahead of us. He did walk in at 9:15.  No more costumes today. Continue reading “How My New Life Began”

An Inconvenient Death

By Ben Mimmack Inspector Forsyth looked across at the doctor and considered whether to unbutton his trousers. Dr. Tyler was driving them both to a black-tie Christmas dinner in Devizes and Forsyth’s suit trousers were a relic of a younger and fitter past. The cummerbund would hide the undone button, but he doubted he couldContinue reading “An Inconvenient Death”

Death at the DMV

By Russell Guenther In a suburb east of San Diego stands one of the busiest Department of Motor Vehicles offices in the county. The flag of the California Republic’s brown bear watches over the building, tucked away in a corner right beside State Route 67, as the surface road curves sharply from the city-to-county line,Continue reading “Death at the DMV”

Safe Cracked: The Peruvian Cob Caper

By Russell Guenther It was another busy Monday morning at the San Diego County Superior Court. Sheriff’s Detective Rogelio Santana didn’t arrive back in the station until well after lunchtime. “Back from the murder trial?” Deputy Hayes, Santana’s former patrol partner asked. “​Puto​,” Santana said. “What’s that, Roger?” “What kind of asshole kills his ownContinue reading “Safe Cracked: The Peruvian Cob Caper”