This collection features twenty short stories from humorous thriller writer J.A. Konrath. Included are a few hardboiled tales, some noir, some parody and satire, a few straight-out comedy pieces, and a few stories that didn't fit into Konrath's other two collections, Horror Stories and Jack Daniels Stories.
The twenty stories include:
The Big Guys - Flash fiction, winner of the Derringer Award.
A Fistful of Cozy - A satire of the mystery cozy genre.
Cleansing - An ancient crime of biblical proportions.
Lying Eyes - Solve it yourself, given the clues.
Perfect Plan - Another solve it yourself. Don't you remember One Minute Mysteries and Encyclopedia Brown?
Piece of Cake - Another solve it yourself, originally featured in Woman's World.
Animal Attraction - Solve it yourself.
Urgent Reply Needed - A cautionary tale about dealing with spammers.
Blaine’s Deal - A parody of hardboiled noir.
Light Drizzle - A light-hearted send-up of hitman stories.
An Archaeologist’s Story - How digging up old bones leads to fresh corpses.
Don’t Press That Button! - An essay about the gadgets in the James Bond universe, and which you need to buy.
Piranha Pool - A writer seeking criticism pays the ultimate price.
A Newbie’s Guide to Thrillerfest - Never been to a mystery conference? Here's the in-depth dirt.
Inspector Oxnard - He's either brilliant, or too stupid to breathe.
One Night Only - A sports fan ends up in jail, all for the love of the game.
Could Stephanie Plum Car Really Get Car Insurance? - An essay about Janet Evanovich's famous character.
Cozy or Hardboiled? - Take the test to find out which type of book you're reading.
Addiction - What's the worst drug you can get hung up on?
Weigh To Go - A humor column about health clubs.
Connor lives in a town full of shape-changing monsters. The town secret is that everyone in Camden Bay, Oregon, has the ability to shape-change into some kind of animal. Everyone that is, except for Connor. He is twelve years old and still doesn't know what he will be when grows up. Will he become an eagle or a snake? He can only watch others sprout feathers and tails and imagine the possibilities. The rest of his classmates have all gone through the change and now they are wondering if perhaps Connor is a mundane: a normal person who can't become anything at all, and who must be exiled.
A mildly scary book for those who are young at heart by award-winning author B. V. Larson.
The English Lake District is a haven of tranquility, a place for hill walkers, mountain climbers and those in search of solitude. But when the rains arrive it becomes a desolate landscape where malevolence rises up from the depths and death is not far behind. It has struck before and this time it has to be stopped.
From the imaginations of four authors working as one comes a menace that is Mostly Human.
The Extended Version has bonus short stories from each of the four authors.
Sixteen year-old, Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking.
When her newly remarried mother moves the family to Paragon Island, to a house that is rumored to be haunted, Skyla finds refuge in Logan Oliver, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds.
Skyla discovers Logan holds the answers to the questions she’s been looking for, but Logan’s reluctance to give her the knowledge she desires leaves her believing Logan has a few secrets of his own.
Skyla’s bloodlines may just be connected to the most powerful angelic beings that roam the earth, and the more she knows, the more danger she seems to be in.
Suddenly an entire faction of earthbound angels wants her dead, at least she still has Logan, or does she?
College sophomore Bryn Dawson is a self-proclaimed poster child for normal. However, the day William Hayward enters her life, normalcy is the last thing Bryn will be able to count on if she wants to be with him. Too mysterious and appealing to be good for a girl, Bryn feels drawn to him in a way that seems out of her control—as if fate is orchestrating it.
Despite every red flag and warning siren going off in her head telling her not to, Bryn falls hard for William, knowing he’s categorically different from anyone she’s ever met. She never imagined how right she was. When William takes her deeper into the rabbit hole of his world, Bryn must decide just how much she is willing to sacrifice to be with him, knowing no matter what, fate always finds a way to have the last laugh.
Spinning a new twist on star-crossed lovers, Eternal Eden will put Bryn through a gauntlet of turmoil, challenging her to find the power within herself to become the heroine in her own story.
Some say that dreams are the doorway to the soul. Willow Haywood is no stranger to that doorway. Each night she shares a blissful, silent dream with a stunning blue-eyed boy. With each new moon she is haunted by a painful nightmare shared with a different boy, who’s always hidden by the shadows.
In her waking hours she must battle her sixth sense. The one that allows her to feel others emotions as if they were her own. This insight is exhausting and frustrating causing her to draw inward, only trusting her family and few close friends. Oddly, this sense also attracts ghostly images that seem to appear out of nowhere. With a touch, they take her to wherever they may be, allowing her to change their emotion. This alone would cause most to go insane, but Willow filters her aggression by painting, capturing the emotion she changed.
One August night a nightmare came days after the new moon. In this dream the shadowed boy marked her wrist with star, leaving her father no choice but to share a family secret that would tie all of the odd attributes of Willow’s life together. Now, she has no choice but to outrun the fate that is closing in around her.
In an attempt to lure her, the shadowed figure captures her closest friends. In order to save them, she must weave through broken myths, half truths, and the undeniable power of the Zodiac. With each step she takes Willow comes to realize that she has lived before, her path is one that she chose, and this trial is simply the beginning.