A short story collection centered on crimes done in the past.
Publication year: 2014
Format: ebook
Page count: 236
Publisher: WMG Publishing

Customs and laws have changed from time to time and place to place. These stories explore actions which have been crimes in the past but are no longer crimes. I liked all of these. The stories with slavery (Crowe’s and Nelscott’s stories) were the most disturbing to me. However, none of them were outstanding, to me.

“Stolen in Passing” by Dory Crowe: A slave has run away and is now looking for any safe place. However, he’s still in an area where the decent citizens are compelled by law to return him to slav-ery. With no other place to go, he runs for his half-sister’s new home. But she looks like she’s white and is already married to a white man.

“New World Gambles” by Leah Cutter: Set in Canada among the Chinese immigrants. Mei Quon is a scholar who has travelled to the New World in the hopes of a better life but the only job he has is as a companion to rich men. His current patron loves to gamble and Mei Quon has an understanding with one of the people working in the crooked gambling place. But then the Tong get involved.

“The Bank Teller” by Jamie McNabb: A stranger comes to town and quickly settles down as a bank teller. But he aims to do something quite different.
“An Education for Thursday” by Dean Wesley Smith: this is the most Western themed story in the collection. A woman rides into town, looking for revenge.

“The Curious Case of the Ha’Penny Detective” by Lee Allred: Conan Doyle wasn’t the only one writing detective stories in the 1800s. This story explores one of “Sherlock’s rivals”.

“The Horns of Hathor” by Richard Quarry: A murder mystery set in Akhenaten’s reign in Ancient Egypt! I always love those. The Pharaoh Akhenaten has forbidden the worship of the old gods and Chenzira the Scribe is sent to tell the temple of Amun-Re that the Festival of Opet is cancelled. The Pharaoh’s previous messenger was apparently killed by Hathor herself.

“Impressions” by Lisa Silverthorne: Set in London in the 1780s, a nobleman is looking for his wife who is supposedly dead. Young constable Fletcher gets clues from her death mask.

“The Raiders” by Cat Rambo: Set in a prisoner of war camp during the U.S. Civil war, some of the prisoners oppress the others and the guards look the other way.

“The Monster in Our Midst” by Kris Nelscott: In 1918 in Arkansans, black men are still being lynched and it’s extremely dangerous to investigate it. But Emerson West does that sometimes. When he receives a hair-raising postcard depicting a hanged black man, he volunteers to investigate.

“Blood and Lightning on the Newport Highway” by M. Elizabeth Castle: Making moonshine is the livelihood of some families in the Appalachia during the Prohibition. However, the Monroe family has lot of bad blood with certain Revenuer who has returned to town.

“Deathmobile” by Michele Lang: Little Rocky is just 11 years old but she comes face to face with the reality of New York in 1977, when the Son of Sam is threatening everyone.

“The Stonewall Rat” by JC Andrijeski: The main character, the Chief, works for the mafia. Stone-wall is a gay bar and the Chief is sent to find the rat in there.

A good collection with solid, interesting stories.

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