Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Monkey Justice and Other Stories: Patricia Abbott


This is another wonderful book of short stories by Patricia Abbott. The 23 stories in this book were published earlier under a similar title but only in e-book format. This is a reissue, making the book available in trade paperback and e-book.

Many of the stories in this book fit within the crime fiction genre and most of them look on the darker side of life. Often misfits or small-time criminals are central to the story. But some of the stories have a humorous side too.

Here are brief descriptions of my favorites in the collection:

  • In “Georgie," Rufe and his friend take care of a problem for Rufe's mother. Lucky for Rufe, Georgie is very resourceful although he is fourteen and still in grade school in a "special" class.
  • The title story, “Monkey Justice," is about a man who gets two women pregnant; they both deliver their babies on the same day in the same hospital. No crime in that story, but an unusual premise.
  • “On Paladin Road” is a haunting story about the  ravages of old age. Two men have lived in the same subdivision for years. Donald is 85, Martin is 65. They have an ongoing disagreement about some borrowed tools.
  • "What Happened Next" is a sad story about a mother coming to visit her grown son; she has not seen him since he was five. 
  • “The Tortoise and the Tortoise” is a fantastic story about a man in a nursing home who has been very popular, but gets pushed out of the top spot when a new male resident arrives. 
  • “Girl Of My Dreams” is about a very bad boss getting his just desserts. 
  • “Raising the Dead” is a short story featuring Violet,  a photographer, and Bill Fontenel, her boyfriend, characters in Abbott's second novel, Shot in Detroit. I enjoyed that brief look at those two characters again.

There are many more great stories in this book and I will be revisiting them all.

I highly recommend this book and others by Patricia Abbott. She has written two novels, Concrete Angel and Shot in Detroit, and a book of short stories, I Bring Sorrow.

Also see these reviews...
at Crime Time
at Kevin's Corner

And an interview at In Reference to Murder.


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Publisher:   Down & Out Books, 2019
Length:      247 pages
Format:      Trade paperback
Setting:      Varied
Genre:       Short stories
Source:      I purchased my copy.

15 comments:

  1. Aren't these stories great, Tracy? I really like the way she explores all sorts of aspects of psychology, relationships, and so on, but still packs a real punch.

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    1. That is a good description, Margot, Patti's stories always pack a punch.

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  2. I wish I liked short stories more. You make these sound very appealing.

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    1. Since I have begun to enjoy short stories more, Moira, I have acquired a lot of anthologies. I have found that I like books of short stories by one author more though, for some reason.

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  3. Ran my review awhile back. Big fan as well.

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    1. Yes, Kevin, I enjoyed your review. Your descriptions of the stories are great. I always struggle with that.

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  4. Well, this is a wonderful surprise. Thanks so much for reading and writing such a comprehensive review. I will be sharing it for sure. Thanks to Margot for pointing it out.

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    1. You are so welcome, Patti. Your stories (short and long) provide me with much pleasure.

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    1. Thanks, Mathew. I especially wanted to do Patti's book justice when writing about it.

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  6. Though I'm only about halfway through the book, I agree that the stories (that I've read so far) are excellent. I'll be doing a review, eventually. Very good review, Tracy.

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    1. Thank you, Rick. It is a book to savor, and to return to. I reread several stories when writing this post, and enjoyed them more the second time around.

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    2. That's quite a recommendation.

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  7. I have a couple from her on the pile, not this one. I really should read her (and Megan)!

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    1. Yes, Col, you should give them a try; both Patti's books and Megan's are closer to you type of reading.

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