Tag Archives: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego

Serenity by Brad Parks

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Serenity
Author: Brad Parks
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Crime
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012

Thoughts

I enjoyed the way in which the wisdom prayer was used to create the name of this short story. It’s definitely a prayer that has come up a few times in my life over the years. I know in this context, it’s used in relation to AA. But still, it was a nice little moment.

This story is kind of horrible in places. Which is unsurprising because it features a murder. But I was weirdly happy about the fact that the lead in this story didn’t have a drink. So yeah,  he murdered someone and is about to dispose of the body and (theoretically) get away with murder. But he didn’t give up on his AA and have a drink.

You kind of gues from the beginning that Billy is dead. Yet, it isn’t till the end that you get that confirmation. And I kind of needed that. Mostly to make sure I wasn’t insane in my understandings. Also, there’s a great, somewhat graphic description of just how the man is killed.

<- The Great PlainsChatter ->

Image source: Amazon

Chemotherapy by Kat Richardson

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Chemotherapy
Author: Kat Richardson
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012

Thoughts

This short story had a completely unexpected turn. It was quite dark and filled with death and crime (expected), but with a much, much, much darker ending than I expected. Like, actually kind of horrifying. Although that could just be because it hit some of my sensitive points.

The little girl in this is just so damn adorable. But honestly, all I could think about when I finished this was how scared the child is going to be. It was totally heartbreaking. There was so much emotional connection in this story, and it was very difficult to not feel kind of sad at her story.

I honestly thought that this story was about a murder and would be a bit if a whodunit. But, as mentioned earlier, it was filled with unexpected twists and turns. So, ultimately it was about something entirely different. And I just loved that fact…

<- ChatterThe End is Never Pretty ->

Image source: Amazon

Chatter by Gary Phillips

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Chatter
Author: Gary Phillips
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Crime
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012

Thoughts

This short story was pure dialogue. Which makes sense, considering the fact that the title of it is literally Chatter. I mean, the whole thing read like chatter. And it was chaos, pure and simple. Considering it’s a short story in a collection about murder and mayhem, that was seriously apt.

This short story was rambling and chaotic, but really fun. Although, admittedly, it was so rambling that I’m not 100% sure of what was happening throughout. Still, that lack of understanding was kind of fun and is part of the reason I’d like to reread this story.

Even with my lack of understanding, I found this story to be wonderfully dark and twisty. Seriously enjoyable.

<- SerenityChemotherapy ->

Image source: Amazon

The Name of the Dame by Ted Hertel, Jr.

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: The Name of the Dame
Author: Ted Hertel, Jr.
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Horror
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012

Thoughts

When I started reading this I was so very, very uncomfortable. I mean, it’s a damn character who is a stalker and terrifying. And just… oh, hell no. But, spoiler alert, it’s alright, it does end well.

As a female, there is nothing more terrifying than the idea of a man stalking you and the levels that some will go to. It’s honestly one of my biggest fears. And why I have a fairly giant dog to live with. So for me, this short story definitely sits on the “horror shelf”.

Interwoven within this is the mythos that comes about in many fae tales – that a name is power. And, honestly, it’s definitely the case in this story. It’s possible to do all sorts of things with someone’s name… something that is shown quite strongly in this short story.

The Name of the Dame is most definitely a horrifying and creepy story. One that taps into some of my deepest fears.

<- Loose LipsThe Great Plains ->

Image source: Amazon

The Great Plains by Chris F. Holm

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: The Great Plains
Author: Chris F. Holm
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012

Thoughts

When you read a short story on a murder collection that is all about a man who is sitting by himself in a car and watching… you get the hinkies. And have some pretty serious reservations about where this is going to go. Don’t get me wrong, I like to sit in my car and just BE at times. But I don’t go to the same place and watch the same woman everyday…

Which makes it quite surprising that this didn’t really involve so much stabby stabby. Not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely a much gentler story than I was expecting.

Although this was still a bit stalkerish in feel, the acknowledgement of the stalkerishness made it much less creepy. That, and the fact that it is such a feeling of emptiness and lack of destination. It kind of made it sad more than anything.

<- The Name of the DameSerenity ->

Image source: Amazon

Loose Lips by Andrew Grant

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Loose Lips
Author: Andrew Grant
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012

Thoughts

I loved the spy angle of this short story. As the tale unfolds and the actions of the past twenty-four hours… you start to see more and more of what has gone on behind the scenes. And with each and every revelation, you find a new easter egg for some well thought out plot.

For every action, there is a wonderful reaction in this story. The narrator just filters out information as he’s distracting his opponent. And, the murder has already happened, so the stakes feel a whole lot intense and full on.

The title made me think that this would be a tale of gossip. One that lead to death because someone spoke when they shouldn’t. instead, it’s all about misdirection and secrecy. With so, so, so many unexpected twists and turns throughout.

Eight short pages, and I seriously loved this short story.

<- Kross KillThe Name of the Dame ->

Image source: Amazon

Kross Kill by J.M. Edwards

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Kross Kill
Author: J.M. Edwards
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012

Thoughts

This was… disturbed. Which is not surprising considering the collection that I found this in. And the fact that it had the word “kill” in the title. Although, I was expecting more of a twist in this tale. It was actually a pretty straight forward, kill and murder kind of story…

I do like that although all of the bad in this happens through sheer stupidity, the guy who is a dumbass does get his comeuppance. It’s probably a little bit extreme and not necessarily poetic justice… but, still, I liked the just desserts at the end. Actually, both the dumbass bad guy and the bad guy bad guy got a pretty horrible / good ending.

Actually, I completely expected the uncle to be more of a bad ass. Certainly a determined man, but not anywhere near the level of challenge that I was expecting. Which was a little bit sad.

You know how when you read a story, there is one image that just seems to stick? For this one it’s blood splatter…

<- Nice Guy TypeLoose Lips ->

Image source: Amazon

Nice Guy Type by Sean Doolittle

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Nice Guy Type
Author: Sean Doolittle
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Ghosts
Dates read: 15th August 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: “Take the next block.”

Synopsis

There’s always the “nice guy type”. Even in death, but, as always seems to happen with the “nice guy”, they’re not always that nice…

Thoughts

Oh wow. There are so many layers of devious and revenge in this story. Which is surprising considering how short this story actually is. And, although I don’t agree with ANY of the characters’ actions… I also kind of understand some of them.

I seriously hate that saying “nice guys finish last”. Mostly because those “nice guys” generally turn out to be… Well, not nice. That is definitely the case in this story… not so nice and most definitely not finishing last.

Although this story involved a whole heap of violence and discomfort… I actually found it slightly sassy. In that humorous, but not outright funny way. I may just be a little sick and twisted though…

<- Undying LoveKross Kill ->

Image source: Amazon

Undying Love by Hilary Davidson

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Undying Love
Author: Hilary Davidson
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Ghosts
Dates read: 13th August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: She lived down the street from us.

Synopsis

He’s got a ferryman trying to take him to the other side. But instead, he wants to find out why there is a knife protruding from his chest. And maybe, just maybe, protect his wife from the same fate.

Thoughts

I kind of guessed that the marriage that takes centre stage in this story wasn’t quite as picturesque as one would hope and imagine. That the murder that takes centre stage probably had something to do with the marriage.  It was not quite what I had expected… but I was still right. Kind of.

I got a pretty serious Ghosts of Christmas feeling from this story. There was just something about starting a story with a man with a giant white beard that made me feel… nostalgic for that great Charles Dickens tale. And it’s always fun to wax nostalgic about things. Alright, it’s all about a murder and there was no Christmas feel to this whatsoever. But it still made me feel somewhat nostalgic.

This really wasn’t quite a romantic story, but I did like the ties that are strong even in death. Even if those ties are kind of what caused your own death… there is still that feeling of consistency even in the horrors that we afflict on one another. It might not be a great story for love, but this was certainly an intriguing one.

<- SliderNice Guy Type ->

Image source: Amazon

Slider by Reed Farrel Coleman

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Slider
Author: Reed Farrel Coleman
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Crime
Dates read: 6th August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: I got a shield to prove it and everything.

Synopsis

A body washes up on the shore, sparking memories of a time long ago. As the tale unravels, the past and present combine.

Thoughts

I loved the disjointed nature of this story. It had “chapters” that were incredibly short (sometimes only 2 sentences). But they added to this feeling of multiple stories, multiple tales that pull you in.

This whole story has an incredibly vague, hazy feel to it. Even when you find out who the culprit is, you’re not entirely sure if it’s the “true” culprit. The one that actually did it. Things aren’t often tied up in a neat little bow… and this story really drives that fact home.

I really enjoyed how everything pulls together at the end of this story. And how you just have so many questions (and much enjoyment) when you turn that final page. Definitely intriguing and engaging.

<- Pattern RecognitionUndying Love ->

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