Today's the day of the Big Reveal! The cover for Murder Ink 2 is here.
This is the latest anthology in the New Hampshire Pulp Fiction series from Plaidswede Press, edited by Dan Szczesny, and I'm thrilled to be taking part again. My story is called "The Whole Story" (keep reading for a sneak peek!).
I'm joining a -- hang on, let me get my copy of James Lipton's excellent book of collective nouns, An Exultation of Larks -- an advance of authors that includes Mark Arsenault, Robin Baskerville, S. J. Cahill, O. Lucio d'Arc, Jeff Deck, Karen and Roxanne Dent, Jonathan Dubey, Brendan DuBois, Victor Infante, Judith Janoo, Gregory L. Norris, Amy Ray, Dan Rothman, Patrick Sullivan, and Stephen R. Wilk. Holy cats, that's a major advance!
So here's the cover, by Donna Catanzaro. I think it's tons of fun!
What is that news broadcaster up to? Should we be concerned about the bloody dagger on her desk? Should we be concerned about her smoking? Jeepers, I just noticed that Mr. Pinstripes is toting a gun in addition to his super cool camera. What will happen next??
Click here to get a copy from the publisher for fifteen clams.
The Whole Story (sneak peek)
“What’s the scoop, TL?” Fat Face Lassonde, editor extraordinaire, peers down his wide beak into my eager Junior Reporter eyeballs. He’s chewing a stogie, his well-worn lighter (Ol’ Reliable) at the ready. He only lights up when staffers don’t deliver the goods, spitting out you people are killing me between aggrieved puffs.
I keep my peepers wide and intense. I’m on thin ice, I know, but I’ve got a couple knockout pitches. “Hot stuff, Fat Face! Listen.” I cast the headline in the air with my hands, “‘Sad Times for Happy Valley.’ Grass up to your knees! Headstones obscured! No new caretaker since Willie Dingle checked in to Happy Valley himself last spring. The question is why?”
“The question is, ‘Who cares?’” The editor-in-chief leans back in his La-Z-Boy and ratchets the footrest. “Dammit, TL, willya give up on the neglected boneyard line already? Budget cuts; end of story. Lake Peetapocket’s been tightening its belt for years now. You really oughtta go to town meeting once in a while. And don’t call me Fat Face.”
He flicks life into Ol’ Reliable. I swallow, eyes on the dancing flame. On the other side of the chief’s office window, the hubbub has slowed to an ooze. Efficient Ethel’s got her finger poised over the copy button at the Xerox Beast, Fred Batchelder has looked up from the crossword app on his tablet, and even crack reporter Jake Steel -- hunkiest drink of water this side of the Merrimack and bane of my existence -- turns his baby blues our way, one eyebrow raised like he’s mildly interested. My stomach starts doing the Watusi . . .
Read the whole story in Murder Ink 2!