The Dead Are Smiling

By Melissa R. Mendelson Johnny Cash battled the static, but he was losing, fading in and out.  The screen door to the diner wasn’t helping.  It screeched opened and clattered shut, and the swearing of the cook in the kitchen was louder than the small radio over the counter by the pies.  Even the buzzingContinue reading “The Dead Are Smiling”

Patches of Paradise

By Hart Vetter I.          Housesitting If you ask me what I am to Royce, it gets complicated. To his business associates, as we meet for dinner, he’ll introduce me as someone I’m really not, My special friend Marianne. In the car over, he winks, Let them fill in the blanks. Case closed. If you askContinue reading “Patches of Paradise”

Detective Santana’s Holiday

By Russell Guenther It was 11:25, Tuesday evening, and Detective Rogelio Santana drove up to his unlit and empty house. By no means a paranoid man like many of his colleagues, he rarely locked his own car when parked under the shelter of the carport. Tonight, however, Santana had driven the county car home withContinue reading “Detective Santana’s Holiday”

Death by Leaf Blower

By Susan E. Rogers He yanked the pillow down over his head and jammed the sides up against his ears. The noise still leaked through. Rrruhrrr… Rrruhrrrr… Rrrruuuuuhhhrrrr… Rrruhrrr… Rrrruuuuuhhhrrrr… He jumped out of bed and ran to the open window. “Stop! Stop! Just stop!” Of course, no one heard him over the roar ofContinue reading “Death by Leaf Blower”

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”

I’m Tired of Murder

By David Larson Chapter one “Damn, I’m getting tired of murder.” “Did you say something, Clarence? Do you want another cup of coffee” Your breakfast should be out next.” “I’m sorry Helen, I was talking to myself. I read this editorial in the paper where the writer thinks all the deaths in the last monthContinue reading “I’m Tired of Murder”

Sweet Little Straight Razor

By Michael Fontana It was after midnight and rain beat my head like tympani.  I checked my look in a shop window: mid-thirties, five-ten, black haired, green eyed and gaunt, nose flattened to my face from a case where it was broken by a punch from a semi-professional football player, a woman who seemed atContinue reading “Sweet Little Straight Razor”

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”

Buxom Burgers and Flirty Fries

By Dave Larson Chapter One Katie turned to her sister, “Kathy, do you expect me to kill a cow myself. We needground beef to sell hamburgers. And to make hamburger gravy for the fries. I don’t want to do this, but I’m going to quote Clara Peller, ‘where’s the beef’”? The sisters, called the burgerContinue reading “Buxom Burgers and Flirty Fries”