I missed posting a short story review last week, so today I present two different authors, both with short fiction that made its original appearance in the past.
Fatal Flaw by Cathi Stoler appears in Kings River Life Magazine September 23. According to the introduction, this story was published several years ago. It opens with the lines, "A few fates are worse than death. I should know. I’m living one right now." The protagonist Nick Donahue is being held captive, having run afoul of dangerous gangsters determined to obtain a critical bit of information from him. Donahue, a high stakes gambler, insists he not be compared to James Bond, but the suave playboy lifestyle gadding about Europe suggests otherwise. Fatal Flaw is a fun read. Don't take my word for it. You can click here to read it for free.
My second review is The Anastasia Syndrome and Other Stories by Mary Higgins Clark, published in 1989. I can't remember whether I bought this at my favorite used book store, or nabbed it from my mother's mystery book shelf. There is a reason Clark is a multi-published best selling author. The stories in this collection were real page-turners.
The title story is actually a novella. A woman seeking to learn about her birth parents from a controversial psychiatrist is accidentally regressed a couple centuries too far. Well worth the read, but I'd like to mention the story Lucky Day. Think O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi with a perverse twist. An annoying elderly friend brags about today being his lucky day, then disappears. Nora searches for answers, then doesn't like what she learns.
All the stories in the collection are worth checking out. The book is available in the usual places.
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