Thirteen ways to remember the dead. Thirteen histories of a loving husband.
Betty Peppercorn is burning her husband Frank today. Well, she’s burning her property. The corpse she was left with as a reward for loving somebody for better or worse. Frank exists only in her thoughts, anymore.
To her knowledge, Frank had no friends. Betty’s not even sure he existed before they met. It comes as a major surprise, then, when several strange faces appear at the funeral, each of them bringing their own stories of what Frank meant to them.
As the day goes on, it becomes increasingly apparent that Frank was not the man she thought he was.
Thirteen new and established writers collide in this brand new novel-of-stories project from Ryan Bracha, the brains behind Twelve Mad Men, The Switched, and The Dead Man Trilogy. All proceeds will be donated to Alzheimer’s charities.
Featuring contributions from:
Dominic Adler – The Ninth Circle
Jason Beech – Moorlands
Kevin Berg – Indifference
Paul D. Brazill – A Case of Noir, Guns of Brixton, Kill Me Quick
Robert Cowan – The Search For Ethan, For All is Vanity
Craig Furchtenicht – Dimebag Bandits, Behind the 8 Ball
Shervin Jamali – The Devil’s Lieutenant
Jason Michel – The Death of Three Colours, The Black-Hearted Beat
Allen Miles – This is How You Disappear
Alex Shaw – The Aidan Snow series
Martin Stanley – The Gamblers, Glasgow Grin, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Billingham Forum
Mark Wilson – The dEaDINBURGH series, On The Seventh Day, Ice Cold Alice
‘I met him on a Monday and although my heart didn’t stand still, per say, it certainly skipped a beat or two, I can tell you,’ said Martyna. She giggled. ‘But then that was Philly Bailey. He was a charmer, alright. Not to everyone’s taste I know, a bit rough around the edges and that. But he always had something about him. A twinkle, you know?’ Martyna finished her gin and tonic. She sucked on an ice cube.
‘He was certainly a hell of a ladies man,’ said Ryan. ‘I’ll give him that.’
A thrilling journey to places you don’t want to visit, especially in your dreams. Death and drama served up with a fascinating slice of life on the edge of society. An intense read, I was glad to get out alive when the story ended !
There aren’t many better ways of spending a couple of hour’s reading-time than in the company of one of Brazill’s books…… mystery, cultural references, action, violence, enough boozing to sink a battleship, memorable characters and a genius for situational comedy
‘They’re coming fast and furious from Paul D. Brazill: it’s another cracking Near to the Knuckle novella from Mr B, the hardest working man in Brit Grit. This is #9 in the series and like the others a rip-snorter of mayhem and it’s got plenty of humour.
Big City Blues ranges across Europe and over to the colonies, or at least New York, which is a world of its own. Brazill always like a sprawling jumble of wild threads which he slowly knits together over the course of the unpredictable events and connections. Even his Seatown stories make the small burg feel complex. It’s not like wild coincidences either; it’s more like Six Degrees of Separation — or in this case, maybe only three degrees.
There’s a joyful abundance that teeters on the baroque: old cons, old cops, young geezers, unpredictable collisions of desire and convenience, and always sudden bone-crunching violence lurking around the next corner. Some of the jokes my grandfather would know but with a twist that makes them new again, and so many original observations that had me laughing out loud with surprise. And don’t tell anybody but hiding in between the laughs, the grimaces, the double crossing and the name dropping, you’ll find heart-searing observations about the walking wounded and some prose that will knock your socks off:
The night had draped itself over the city, and the moon bit into the sky. He stopped on the neon-soaked street to breathe in the sultry air. He could smell the lust, the sin and the decay.
A shard of sunlight sliced through the blinds, picking out specks of dust that floated in the air. An old electric kettle boiled in another room. A refrigerator hummed. A dishwasher chugged dully. A mangy black and white cat strolled across the newly polished bar before curling up on a wooden bar stool and going to sleep.’
British coppers, an American private eye, London gangsters, international spies, and a serial killer known as The Black Crow all collide violently and hilariously in Big City Blues, another fast-moving and funny slice of Brit Grit from Paul D. Brazill.
I’m flashing again at Spelk Fiction. Fiery Jack goes a little like this:
Jack walked across the pub carpark and found Sidney Round’s BMW. His bony hands shook as he took a petrol canister from his backpack. He closed his eyes and counted to ten. Tried to control his breathing. He was dripping with sweat. He emptied the canister’s contents over the car and then took out another petrol can.