Who knew death could be so eclectic? Relish this mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up of short stories.
The stories include the 2019 SIA Award-Winning Murder Mystery Short Story ‘The Rose Slayer.’
Murder and mystery have been the staple of literature and films for years. This anthology of short stories will thrill and entertain you. Some will also make you laugh out loud. Others will stop and make you think.
Think of this murder mystery short story anthology as a book version of appetizers or starters, hors d’oeuvre, meze, or antipasti. It can be read as fillers between books or, as is the case in some countries, as a bookish meze – in its own right.
These stories come from an international cast of authors; some with bestselling books, others are emerging or new talents. Their roots, cultures, and life experiences are as diverse as their writing styles.
But one thing binds them together: they know how to tell a story.
There’s murder mystery styles and locations to suit all tastes: detective fiction, serial killers, scifi, histfic, LA, England, The Great Lakes, Las Vegas, the Nevada desert and more in an exquisite exposition of the art of short story telling.
The ten authors who have contributed to the anthology are:
Stephen Bentley Greg Alldredge Kelly Artieri Robbie Cheadle Michael Spinelli L. Lee Kane Kay Castaneda Aly Locatelli Justin Bauer & ‘G’ Posthumously
Each author introduces his or her stories and the theme that lies behind them.By the time you finish the book, you will agree the result is a mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up.
Get it now.
First Line (from The Rose Slayer by Stephen Bentley):
Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories by various authors
I usually do not review anthologies. I find it hard to review a book that is made up of short stories. But I like reading them. Whenever I get the request to review an anthology, I have an internal tug of war. 9 out of 10 times, I decline. But in this case, because I like murder mysteries, I accepted. I am glad that I did because this book had some fantastic stories.
I thought it was appropriate that I read Death Among Us a couple of nights before Halloween. I was enthralled with the stories. I loved that I got a thrill when reading them.
Usually, in my other reviews, I give details on what I liked about the plotlines and the characters. But because this is an anthology, I can’t do that. But I will do something a little different. I will give you what I liked about each group of stories.
The Rose Slayer, Eleanor Rigby, Diva:
I enjoy reading these short stories. What I loved is that they were interconnected. I didn’t get that at first. It took me rereading the end of The Rose Slayer and the beginning of Eleanor Rigby to understand that. I loved it!!!
Hello World, Goodbye World:
AI has always freaked me out. Reading these two books got me even more freaked out about them. They were well written, and the author was able to suck me into the stories.
First Comes Lightning, Bad Bones, Red Solo Cup,,That’s What Best Friends Do:
I didn’t like these stories as much as the first five stories. But they were still good. Again, the author was able to interconnect each story. The connections were subtle, but they were there.
Justice is Never Served, An Eye For an Eye, The Murder of the Monk:
This group of stories all takes place in England. What I enjoyed about these is that they were based on actual events. The author, who is new to horror, was able to take these events and add her spin to them. Again, there was a subtle connection with the three stories, which I enjoyed.
No Man’s Land and Monitaur:
These were different stories by the same author. The first story, No Man’s Land, creeped me out. I got the chills reading it. Monitaur, though, terrified me. Mainly because I have had run-ins with a baby monitor making weird noises.
A Deadly Lady and Stop Me If You Can:
Another set of stories that chilled me. I agreed with the main character in this set of stories. Men who beat their wives/girlfriends and men (and women) who traffic people need to be taken care of. What gave me chills was how she did it and what the cop said at the end of the last story.
Something About the Gift of Beauty, Unknown, The Thoughts of Emily Morales in Old Age:
These were interesting stories. I liked that the three stories centered around one main character at different stages of her life.
I liked this story. The characters were relatable (even if one of them was unlikable). What happened was interesting.
Sales Meeting, Canceled:
I liked these stories. Talk about getting payback…lol. All I could think after I read the stories was that they deserved it.
White Rose of Rapture and Next:
Both were well-written books. The first story did freak me out. I have a fear of dentists, and well, this story didn’t do anything to erase my fear. The second story amused me (as weird as that sounds). The last line made me giggle.
I would give Death Among Us an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Death Among Us. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
Tanvi isn’t the girl of Misha’s dreams; she’s the girl from his nightmares. She has appeared in his chilling dreams before he even meets her; when he DOES meet her, he falls for her.
Their relationship turns stormy, bordering on abusive, and takes a dramatic turn when they are held captive by a group hoping to extract money from Tanvi’s wealthy family.
But there is something more sinister at work, and the kidnappers and their victims find themselves struggling for survival as a supernatural force from Misha’s nightmares makes itself known in the real world.
Cara Martin is the author of several acclaimed novels for young people published under the name C. K. Kelly Martin. Her most recent novel, Stricken, was released in 2017. A graduate of the Film Studies program at York University, Cara has lived in the Greater Toronto Area and Dublin, Ireland. Within the space of 3500 miles she’s worked a collection of quirky jobs at multiple pubs and video stores, an electricity company, a division of the Irish post office, a London toyshop, and an advertising analytics company. She’s also been an image editor for a dot-com startup that didn’t survive the 90s, and a credit note clerk for Canada’s largest national distributor of General Merchandise. Cara currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband and is still afraid of the Child Catcher from the film adaptation of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG.
It has been a while since I read a horror book that could freak me out. So when I saw the cover for Shantallow and then read the blurb, I knew I had to read it. I was intrigued and excited about it. While I am glad that I read Shantallow, I was a bit disappointed by the book.
The plotline for Shantallow did flow well once I got into the book. But, at the beginning of the book, it was choppy. There were several points where I felt the plotline lagged. Those two elements did affect my reading.
I didn’t like Tanvi. I felt that she was stringing Misha along the whole time and then lied when she got caught. She also moved on quickly. I mean, she had a new boyfriend almost immediately after she and Misha broke up. Her behavior, while she was kidnapped, was also weird. I wondered if she had a part in it until stuff started happening in the house.
I was on the fence with Misha. I did feel bad for him, but at the same time, I thought that he got what he deserved when he barged in on the kidnapping. I understood why he was obsessed with Tanvi, but after a while, it bored me. There were parts where I eye-rolled because it was cliched.
I did think that the horror angle of the book was well written. There were parts where I was freaked out. But, again, I wish that there were more hints dropped other than Misha’s nightmares. Because I was taken aback by the whole dream sequence when everything was explained. I also felt that the entire horror angle was crammed into the last half of the book and at the time, it felt rushed. I wish it were more drawn out.
I didn’t need to read teenage drama. Honestly, a good chunk of the book was that — teenage drama. There were points where I was wondering when the horror was going to start.
I did like the paranormal angle of it, but again, I wish it was more fleshed out. I had so many questions about the house, the entity, Misha’s father, and Tanvi’s cousins.
The end of Shantallow felt rushed. I had to reread it a couple of times because, honestly, I didn’t get what happened.
I would give Shantallow an Older Teen rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.
I am on the fence if I would reread Shantallow. I am also on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**