Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Short Story Wednesday: Stories from Crime Time 2.3

This week I read three short stories in Crime Time 2.3, published in February 1999. I have had this magazine for years and I don't remember how and why I bought it. I have read some of the articles and reviews, but none of the short stories, until now.

"The Dark Path" by Jason Starr 

I think this is the first work of fiction I have read by Jason Starr. He has written novels (including some co-written with Ken Bruen), short stories, comics and graphic novels. 


This was more a character study than a crime investigation, and I enjoyed it very much. There definitely was a crime, but the focus is on the discovery of the crime by a couple and how it affects their relationship. 

I like that it kept me guessing about where the story was going.

"Murder at Suicide Oak" by O'Neil De Noux

I have heard of O'Neil De Noux. He posts at SleuthSayers, he worked as a policeman for many years, and I have read one of his stories in New Orleans Noir. I enjoyed that story and I hope to read more that he has written.


In this story, two police officers, Detective Dino LaStanza and his rookie partner Detective Jodie Kintyre, investigate the death of two women in New Orleans' City Park. The bodies were both found near Suicide Oak. The younger woman, about 20 years old, was positioned under the tree; the other one, about 40, was in an automobile nearby. Murder, or murder–suicide?

Reading this got me interested in trying a novel by De Noux.

"Two Dead Detectives" by Simon Clark 

Simon Clark is new to me, but he has published a lot of novels and short stories. I think most of his work is in the horror genre. 


This story is not exactly a mystery; it is mostly a supernatural story. Two detectives are investigating a death; both detectives are dead. In other words, they are ghosts. One has been dead for many years, one is newer to the situation. 

I don't read ghost stories and not much supernatural fiction, so the idea of ghosts knowing that they are dead and philosophizing about it was new to me. I thought the story was clever but not compelling.

I would love to hear any information you have about these authors, or any experience you have with reading their work.


Jerry House said...

Simon Clark (b. 1958) is a horror novelist from Yorkshire. He has won the British Fantasy Award for short story, novella, and novel. Among his more popular works are VAMPHYRRIC (and sequels), a reaction againsr the trend of romantic vampires, and THE NIGHT OF THE TRIFFIDS, a sanctioned sequel to John Wyndham's classic SF novel THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS. He has also published a Dr. Who novella and wrote a script for a proposed Dr. Who animated series (which evidntly dies a-borning whenn the BBC decided to bring back a live version of the Doctor).

O'Neil de Noux (b. 1950) is, as you mentioned a former cop turned author. He has wopn the Shamus Award for Best Short Story twice and has won the Derringer award. His stories have also been nominated for either the Shamus Award or the Deringer Award eight times. He has published eight standalone novels, plus books and stories in four series: New Orleans Police Detective Dino La Stanza (ten novels and one collection), New Orleans chief Inspector John Raven Beau (five novels, including one named 2011 Police-Writers Book of the Year, and one collection), Private Eye Lucian Caye (six novels and one collection), NOPD Detective in 1900 Jacques Dugas (two novels and one collection), and 1936 secret agent superhero Lucifer (two novels). De Noux has also written in many other genres.

Jason Starr (b. 1966) has published some twenty novels, including the "Bust" quartet with Ken Bruen published by Hardcase Crime. He has won the Anthony and Barry Awards for Best Novel in addition to winning the first-ever Anthony Award for Best Graphic Novel. Three of his novels were tie-in books -- one in the Marvel Antman series and two others based on the television show Gotham. Starr has also writtne two books (thus fafr) in a modern day werewolf series, beginning with THE PACK. Starr has also written a number of comics books featuring such protagonists as Batman, Doc Savage, The Avenger, Sandman, The Punisher, and Wolverine. Several of his books and at least one short story have been adapted for film and television.

All three are well worth exploring further, Traci.

George said...

Isn't it great to have Jerry House around! He is a fount of information. I've seen Jason Starr's name on tie-in books, but I didn't buy them.

Margot Kinberg said...

I've heard of De Noux, too, Tracy, and I'm glad you enjoyed what you read of his work. I like the sound of this story a lot. And I like the whole concept of reading short stories to get to know an author's writing.

TracyK said...

Jerry, thanks for all that information. I am not so sure about Simon Clark, although I should try some horror. I will look for some books by De Noux and Starr.

TracyK said...

George, he is a fount of information. Jason Starr's books may be too noir for me, but I should give at least one a try.

TracyK said...

Margot, none of these stories were what I expected, and that is a good thing.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have read Jason Starr's THE PACK. I have several of his books with Bruen but have not read them. Haven't read the other two at all.

Rick Robinson said...

This is all new to me, the magazine, authors, etc. Barbara started THE BIRDWATCHER this morning.

col2910 said...

I used to subscribe to that magazine and might have that issue somewhere. I did start reading one of the mags cover to cover but didn't get very far. I think it's a dip in dip out thing. I used to read a lot of Jason Starr back in the day, but have lost touch with his work over the past few years.

TracyK said...

Patti, I think we may have an annual Planned Parenthood book sale in September and I will put his name on the list. I have several of Ken Bruen's books and should get back to reading them.

TracyK said...

Rick, Crime Time is a good mystery magazine but of course the old issues I have are about older authors / books. But sometimes that is interesting too.

I hope that Barbara likes THE BIRDWATCHER.

TracyK said...

I agree, Col, better to dip in and out of that kind of magazine.

Jason Starr does sound like your kind of author. I really enjoyed the writing in the short story I read.

Cath said...

These authors are all new to me but I love the idea of two dead detectives investigating a crime. Surely there's a potential series there. I shall look Simon Clark up.

TracyK said...

I think you are right, Cath. The two dead detectives would work well in a novel.

Rick Robinson said...

I started Anthony Horowitz’s Moonflower Murders and after 20 pages realized I wanted to reread Magpie Murders first. There’s a long wait for it at the library, and many waiting for the current book, so I thought what the heck, ordered both books in hardcover and will return s Moonflower Murders To the library tomorrow. Am I an irresponsible spendthrift?

Barbara is on page 105 of Birdwatcher and liking it.

TracyK said...

Rick, I am glad you are enjoying that Magpie Murder series so much. I don't think you are irresponsible at all.

Also glad to hear that Barbara is enjoying Birdwatcher. I look forward to continuing the series in a couple of months.

I have another story in Cosmic Corsairs, and will be reading more. Enjoyed the one I read today (by Christopher Ruocchio).

Sam Sattler said...

I'm not familiar with the three authors whose stories you review here, but I'm totally taken by that magazine. It looks like the perfect periodical for crime fiction fans. Wonder if it still exists?

TracyK said...

When I bought the issues I have, Sam, I thought it was a very good magazine also, but never decided to pay postage to have it sent from the UK to the US.

I also wondered if it was still around, and it looks like it is on the internet, at this address:


Barry Forshaw is the editor of the site, and he was the editor at the time this issue came out.