The Best Paranormal Crime Stories Ever Told

I just got a copy of The Best Paranormal Crime Stories Ever Told.It’s a collection edited by Martin H. Greenberg and has an introduction by John Helfers. It has eighteen stories by a host of bestselling writers including (but not limited to) Mike Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Anne Perry, P. N. Elrod, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Carole Nelson Douglas, Steve Perry, Elizabeth A. Vaughan, and me. It’s a good, solid collection.

My story is: If Vanity Doesn’t Kill Me. It’s the second Trick Molloy story (and can be found in the Tricknomancy collection in my store or for Amazon’s Kindle). Trick’s step-father is found dead in a seedy motel—one of a string of embarrassing deaths among the city’s societal elite. The Medical Examiner thinks a serial killer is at work; the elite want the deaths hushed up, and Trick heads out on a hunt for a killer offing people he has no desire to save.

I got the germ of the idea for the story at the Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, where Michelle Peacock gave me some of the history of a few paintings on the walls. That’s the cool thing about writing—you pick up those nuggets of information and build themselves into a story almost everywhere, which is why writers are never really “off duty.”

The only down side of being a writer, and always being “on duty” is that there are times you want to be in the moment, and you get kicked out into observer mode. This can be annoying for companions (especially someone you’re dating) because you drop out of a shared experience into your own little world. On the other hand, as your skills grow as an observer, you get to decode all sorts of behavior, reading people easily. The disconnect between what they say and how they say it (verbally and through body language) is fascinating. Makes for great character studies.

It doesn’t look as if the publisher has made this anthology available as an electronic edition. Since it’s full of really good stories, I believe it is “shelf-worthy” and is even a collection you’ll read more than once. It’s definitely worth a look.

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