Category Archives: Short Stories

Ninth and Nowhere by Jeffery Deaver

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Ninth & NowhereAnother of Deaver’s short stories that appears to be published for Kindle type readers. This one may fit that category but it is still a very good read. As usual Deaver kind of starts “nowhere” in the story with a mix of characters who seemingly do not know each other. But bang! They all come together and the reader finds out exactly what is going on.

Ninth and Nowhere has seven supposed strangers who are pretty much described in detail by Deaver but the reader doesn’t know what is going on and how they will interact. One of them is a young man who wants to buy a gun, another is the gangster who wants to sell him the gun, and then there is a good police officer who is working his last patrol.

Also one is a lady executive who is keeping things from her husband, a single father in a custody battle for his child, and a very impressive looking businessman who is on his way to a new job that he really needs. And finally there is recently released veteran who is having a hard time getting over some of the horrors of war that he has just recently witnessed.

The Christmas Scorpion: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child (Kindle Version)

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Christmas ScorpionA very different approach this time by Lee Child as he puts Jack Reacher, everybody’s favorite, in a short story! Much of the concept is typical however as Reacher is heading south (as usual) to be warm for the winter. Strangely enough though, it doesn’t work out that way as the small south California town gets hit with a tremendous snow storm. And that storm forces Reacher to finally seek shelter in a very lonely bar/restaurant where only the owner and two other couples are staying…..also trying to stay warm and out of the snow.

And this is where Child starts building his story. It seems one of the couples explain to Reacher that they are Royal Military Police and they were on their way to the nearby military base (where Reacher had been stationed at one time as a Military Policeman). They were part of a group that not only included a very higher-up in English politics but some other very important people from the United States. The snowstorm had torn up their automobile caravan leaving them far behind the others in the group.

They ask Reacher to use his knowledge and possible contacts at the base to get them assistance and find out if the others in their group had arrived. Right after this discussion started the gentleman from the other couple came over and asked if they could please be considered part of the group so that they could somehow get out of the storm.

Matchup: The Battle of the Sexes Just Got Thrilling Edited by Lee Child

Reviewed by Allen Hott

MatchupCompletely different concept. This is a book of eleven short stories written by twenty two different authors. Each story has one male author and one female author. They discuss the story they have in mind. Then they begin working together building this new story. And each story features one of each author’s main characters. Very interesting concept on writing and done very well.

The first is Honor & …… which is a story involving Joe Pickett (C J Box character) and Lee Coburn (Sandra Brown character). They meet up in an interesting fashion in Pickett’s territory (kind of) and have to figure out who and what is going on. Together after they realize that they are both lawmen, they do a great job of getting the job done!

The second story is Footloose with Val McDermid’s Tony Hill as one character and Peter James’s Roy Grace as the other character. This one is a little more difficult to read as it is about a crime in England involving human feet that are found in various places. Lots of English titles and characters.

Next up was Faking a Murderer. This featured Temperance Brennan (Kathy Reichs’ character) teamed with Jack Reacher (Lee Child’s contribution). Reacher as usual interrupts a trip to pal up with Brennan and solve a murder as well as get Brennan out of trouble.

Strange Weather: Four Short Novels by Joe Hill

Reviewed by Vickie Dailey

Strange WeatherThis book is a collection of four short stories. I was very excited to be given the opportunity to review this book. Unfortunately, the excitement was short lived.

The first story Snapshot has an interesting premise with a lackluster ending. The second story loaded never caught my interest and did not complete. The third Aloft – took so long to get somewhere that I gave up. The fourth story, Rain, I have yet to read. There are some great illustrations for each of the stories.

No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Short Stories by Lee Child

Reviewed by Allen Hott

No Middle NameThis one is not a normal book but is a collection of several novellas and then even more short stories. All of the tales do feature Jack Reacher, who has been the main character in many of Child’s works. No doubt that the title No Middle Name pertains to Jack Reacher. That always comes up in all of the stories that Child writes. Someone invariably asks his name and they cannot get over the fact that he doesn’t have a middle name. Even without a middle name Jack Reacher is a very interesting character. These stories carry that character forward as he makes his trek not only across the United States but even on occasion into Europe.

Reacher is a retired Military Police officer who has a very astute mind when it comes to looking into situations that would probably stymie the minds of most people. Wherever he goes he seems to not only run into things that happen to be at least a bit illegal or scary but then he always seems to also solve the problems or assist in solving them.

Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles Presents LAst Resort by Matt Coyle, Mary Marks, Patricia Smiley and Michael Connelly (Introduction)

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Last ResortSince 1997, Sisters in Crime has published anthologies of members’ crime fiction works. Each collection was well received with their newest addition, The LAst Resort as no exception. A stunningly extraordinary collection of fiction shorts, the book overall, combines elements that make for a deliciously wicked elixir of potently intriguing portrayals of lives at their last resort, near drowning, immersed in the murky waters of the underbelly of morality that thrives in Los Angeles.

Timeless Travels: Tales of Mystery, Intrigue, Humor, and Enchantment by Joseph Rotenberg


Timeless TravelsWho is today’s American Jew? Joseph Rotenberg styles himself as a modern-day maggid (traditional Jewish storyteller), weaving tales from the everyday to the fantastic, each one bringing the reader a slice of the American Jewish experience. Just as Sholem Aleichem did more than a hundred years ago in his famous stories describing Russian Jewish life, these tales inform and entertain by uncovering little-known events and personalities that have impacted the American Jewish world. In the 1950s, the late Harry Golden, in his popular collections Only in America and For Two Cents Plain, introduced Jewish culture to many non-Jewish Americans. Joseph Rotenberg’s work updates that vision to depict the contemporary, modern American Jew who is today increasingly as much at home in the halls of the Ivy League, the corridors of power in Washington, the corporate boardroom, and the theater as he is in the beit midrash and the synagogue. You’ll laugh, cry, and wonder as you travel through Joseph Rotenberg’s incisive and at times laugh-outloud funny collection of tales.

Timeless Travels is a fascinating and thought-provoking account of the experiences and travels of Jewish people throughout history, by the talented author, Joseph Rotenberg. Timeless Travels will appeal to readers of all ages. I highly recommend this page-turning collection of short stories.”

Douglas R. Cobb – Reviewer for Bestsellersworld.com

Short Fiction of William H. Coles 2000-2016

Reviewed by Laurie Weatherlow

Short Fiction of William H. Coles 2000-2016The Short Fiction of William H. Coles 2000-2016 is a collection of 33 short stories, a novella and two graphic novels. Illustrations enhance each story, supplementing the readers experience and understanding. Peter Healy wonderfully illustrated the two graphic novels, which are the retelling of previous short stories in the collection.

Click Here for More Information on The Short Fiction of William H. Coles 2000-2016

The characters and themes throughout this book are unique. While they share the connectedness of human struggles and moral issues, they do not intertwine. There are many messages taught through these stories which include unconditional love, acceptance, stereotyping, anguish, faith, death, birth, family values and narcissistic behaviors. Most of the stories are dark and have a miserable ending. Some offer a glimpse of hope, while others are down right horrifying.

I felt I could connect to many of the stories because they accurately portray the world we live in. I was left wanting more information and personality from some of the stories; characters that had a little more feeling. My two favorites were The Gift and SISTER CARRIE, the novella. I would highly recommend reading this contemporary collection of stories.

Author William H. Coles, has won many awards, including The Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the William Faulkner Creative Writing Competition to name a few.

Stories of the Indebted by Jorge P. Newbery

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

Stories of the IndebtedThe lives of too many Americans are absorbed by debt, becoming prisoners of a vicious cycle from which breaking free is difficult. However, Jorge P. Newbery offers an escape plan in the form of a book, Stories of the Indebted.

Click Here for More Information on Stories of the Indebted

The book is comprised of seven chapters, each revolving around how to handle specific types of debt. Jorge P. Newbery finds an engaging way to present information which can easily be perceived as boring or overly technical for those who are not versed in economics; he uses the art of storytelling to compel and teach the reader. With the help of his characters who seem as real as you and I, he shares their problems and also the solutions to each case. However, do not expect to read any classic success stories; as the author himself realized, these are not as efficient in grabbing the attention as stories about failures. The focus falls on how to rise once you have fallen and how to learn from your (and other people’s) mistakes.

Shots Fired: Stories from Joe Pickett by C.J. Box

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Shots FiredMr. Box has put together a group of short stories in this book which is about the happenings in west. Several of them feature Joe Pickett, the Wyoming ranger and one even features Joe’s buddy, Nate Romanowski.

Click Here for More Information on Shots Fired

In the opener (One Car Bridge) Joe gets involved with a very irate and prosperous ranch owner. The owner is mad at Joe and it seems like the world especially after his plan for a special wild game hunting exposition goes sour. When the state turns his idea down Joe has to pass the word to the Ranch Foreman and then to the owner. Quite an usual tale about what happens next.