A selection of short fiction
For many years I wrote short stories while trying to get the elusive book deal. Mainly crime fiction, of course, which is what I always wanted to write, but also a market I hadn't planned on writing for - women's magazines. It was the biggest market available for a struggling writer at the time, so I gave it a go. And that was where I really began to learn the trade of being a writer; of writing to a word count, of always meeting deadlines and writing for a market that had fairly strict demands on content.
In the end, however, crime fiction won out.
Shades of Mayhem
Fourteen short crime stories ranging from hard to soft, with varying shades of danger and mystery.
Ice Cream and Aurelie - a young man growing up in New York finds ice-cream parlors have an attraction all of their own... but that some things are not as sweet as they seem.
Something to Trade - a woman stranded out in the African bush has to use her wit to survive an encounter with violent rebels
The Homecoming: - a spy whose cover has been blown returns home. But what sort of reception will she receive?
Pretty Hot T'ing - forced by a ruthless south London gangster to deliver a bomb, a young man finds that some things are worth risking everything for.
Pet Hate - a young woman enters the world of shady deals and creatures that bite.
A Girl Thing - a female police officer goes undercover to trap a sex-trade gang... and discovers talents she didn't know she had.
Stuff Happens - A man goes for a swim without a snorkel.
Hidden Benefits - A Riley Gavin/Frank Palmer short. When a local small-time crook seems to have more than his fair share of money... and wives, Riley and Frank are called in to find out how.
The Trench - A war veteran revisits his old French battleground, and finds that the past has come back to haunt him with a vengeance.
Recipe for Mayhem - A murder/mystery weekend and somebody is stealing from the guests. A chance for the hired help to show they are more astute than the experts.
Procedure - A late-night visit by two enforcers for a big-time Dutch gangster in London finds their intended victim having to play dirty.
Call-Out - A Royal Military Policewoman has a feckless and gullible half-brother with a talent for bad money-making schemes... with deadly consequences.
Dressed to Kill - Three friends go clothes shopping... and find that smoking really can kill.
The Duel - The old methods of settling arguments have not yet died out among certain European Union pen-pushers - but with a dramatic difference.