Category Archives: Short Story

Recommended Read: Histories Of The Dead by Math Bird

histories of the dead‘History’s never written by the dead.’

Math Bird’s Histories Of The Dead is a brutal and brilliant short story collection that is bookended by two truly powerful short stories- ‘Histories Of The Dead’ and ‘Billy Star.’

The rest of the stories in the collection are just as well-written, moving and compelling. These are evocative stories of hard men and women living hard lives and Bird proves himself to be a master storyteller throughout.

Highly recommended.

Pre-Order Small Time Crimes

SMC

Hit-men, con men, jewel thieves, career criminals, killers, crooks and cannibals. They all congregate between the pages of Paul D. Brazill’s Small Time Crimes – a brutal and blackly comic collection of short stories and flash fiction that views the world at its most askew.’

Th eBook of Small Time Crimes is now available for pre-order from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and all the other Amazons, if you fancy.

Small Time Crimes Cover Reveal

The Dorset Book Detective  has revealed the cover of my forthcoming Near To The Knuckle  story collection, Small Time Crimes.

30726003_10216365354109030_4468694681558974464_nAnd here it is!

‘Hit-men, con men, jewel thieves, career criminals, killers, crooks and cannibals. They all congregate between the pages of Paul D. Brazill’s Small Time Crimes- a brutal and blackly comic collection of short stories and flash fiction that views the world at its most askew.’

Recommended Read: Monday’s Meal by Les Edgerton

MONDAY'S MEAL COVER FOR EBOOK VERSIONWho makes the best beer in the world? Maybe the Czechs or Belgians.

But when it comes to short stories, well, the American’s pretty much rule the roost, they really do. Flannery O’ Connor, Raymond Carver, Dorothy Parker, Charles Bukowski, Richard Ford,  Kyle Minor. Loads and loads more.

And you can add Les Edgerton to that list, of course.

Monday’s Meal by Les Edgerton was first published in 1997 and contains twenty-one tales of dirt realism. Sharp slices of American life. They’re set in New Orleans and Texas. Sometimes in bars or behind bars. They’re about café owners, hairdressers, nightclub musicians, prisoners, ex-cons, drifters and drinkers.

Monday’s Meal opens and closes with ‘Blue Skies’ and ‘Monday’s Meal,’ tales of strained relationships. But the real meat is sandwiched between them. And Monday’s Meal  is a particularly  meaty collection.

Some favourites: ‘The Mockingbird Café’ is the story of a man in a low-rent bar trying to mind his own business; ‘Hard Times’ is bleak and scary and brilliantly written; ‘The Last Fan’ is a tragic look at a shattered marriage; ‘My Idea Of A Nice Thing’ is a touching and sad story of an alcoholic’s  crumbling life;’Telemarketing,’ is the story of a young couple just trying to get by; ‘I Shoulda Seen a Credit Arranger,’ is a fun Runyonesque crime story.

And there’s plenty more to enjoy in Monday’s Meal. Edgerton has a strong and sure grasp of the lives of people who are standing on the edge of a precipice.

The eBook of Monday’s Meal is to be published by the splendid Down and Out Books. It’s currently being offered as a prepub sale. It goes on regular sale on April 23.

The Gumshoe and The Neon Boneyard for 99p!

I’ve recently remixed and rebooted a couple of my eBooks and they’re currently available for 99p!

THE GUMSHOE: THE PETER ORD YARNS gumshoe new

A booze addled private eye stumbles and tumbles through a small town in the North East of England in this blackly comic Brit Grit short story collection.

CONTENTS:

GUMSHOE BLUES
THE LADY AND THE GIMP
WHO KILLED SKIPPY?
SHIFT WORK
MR KISS AND TELL
THE NIGHTWATCHMAN

the neon boneyardTHE NEON BONEYARD: A ROMAN DALTON YARN

The Neon Boneyard is a pulpy noir/ horror short story featuring Paul D. Brazill’s creation Roman Dalton – Werewolf PI. The werewolf PI and his oddball cohorts are caught up in a gang war that also embroils Mr Hyde, Frankenstein’s monster and Sherlock Holmes.

You can grab them from Amazon. com, Amazon.co.uk, or any other Amazon you fancy.

Nick Sweeney is at Polski Noir

polski noir t-shirtTRANSAKCJA – NICK SWEENEY (PRZEŁ. ALEKSANDRA GUZIK)

‘Witek Galicki nie mógł tego wieczoru nazwać sukcesem. Kobieta uśmiechnęła się w sposób, który można by wziąć za zachętę, ale Witek zsunął się z niej delikatnie i uniósł rękę w przepraszającym geście. Odwrócił się tyłem i przysiadł na brzegu łóżka. „Nieudana transakcja” pomyślał.’

Read the rest here.

Grab Exiles: An Outsider Anthology for only 99p/ 99c!

exiles artizan
Exiles

To celebrate the latest ALIBI  noir festival in Slovenia, EXILES: AN OUTSIDER ANTHOLOGY is currently only 99c / 99p!

A powerful Noir short story collection edited by the Bukowski of Noir, Paul D. Brazill. Exiles features 26 outsiders-themed stories by some of the greatest crime and noir writers, K. A. Laity, Chris Rhatigan, Steven Porter, Patti Abbott, Ryan Sayles, Gareth Spark, Pamila Payne, Paul D. Brazill, Jason Michel, Carrie Clevenger, David Malcolm, Nick Sweeney, Sonia Kilvington, Rob Brunet, James A. Newman, Tess Makovesky, Chris Leek, McDroll, Renato Bratkovič, Walter Conley, Marietta Miles, Aidan Thorn, Benjamin Sobieck, Graham Wynd, Richard Godwin, Colin Graham, and an introduction by Heath Lowrance.

#FRIDAY FLASH: Thicker Than Blood

TODAY

‘The thing is, Bren,’ says Craig Hornby, kissing his bloody knuckles, ‘you’ve just got to face facts sometime. You might be a nicer bloke than your Tony. Well, in fact, you are nicer. Much nicer. But your kid is more likeable. It’s just one of those things. And that’s why he always ends up getting what he wants. Getting his own way. If he fell in the sea, he’d come out with a pocket full of fish. That’s him, eh? Teflon Tony.’

Craig walks over to the window and closes the blinds. The room turns black. Specks of dust float in a shard of sunlight that slices through a broken slat and spotlights a pool of blood at Bren Murdoch’s feet. Bren’s head pounds. Blood trickles down his nose and is soaked up by the socks stuffed in his mouth .He twists but the fishing wire cuts further into his wrists and ankles.

‘And that’s also why you’re here now instead of him.’

Craig’s heavy feet echo off the concrete floor as he walks over to the corner of the room and switches on the strip lighting.

Bren clamps his eyes shut.

‘That’s why you’re the one who has to take the consequences of the shit-storm your kid brother brewed up.’

The dining chair wobbles as Craig sits. He’s sweating like a pig. Dark semi-circles under his arms. He knocks back a can of Red Bull and kisses his bruised knuckles again.

‘It’s just one of those things. Something I have to do. I have to, I have no choice , really. Have to make an example of someone. You understand, don’t you?’

Bren understands all right. He understands that in less than a week his life has turned from shinola to shit. And he knows who to blame.

YESTERDAY

‘It’s bollocks. I can’t believe you operate like this,’ said Bren.

He looked pissed off as he dragged the wads of paper from the bread bin and spread them over the shop counter. ‘It’s all in here?’

Tony Murdoch smirked and sipped a can of Carling. ‘Aye.’

‘You keep all your paperwork, all your receipts, invoices, tax bills in a bread bin and you expect me to do your accounts for you?’

‘You’re the accountant,’ said Tony. ‘I’m the … entrepreneur.’

He leaned against a stack of ‘80s 12-inch singles that were marked down to 10p. Star-shaped, day-glow signs hung everywhere in the cluttered shop. It was always cluttered these days. Not with customers, though. The second-hand record business wasn’t what it used to be. Anyway, Tony made more money from organising coach trips to stadium rock gigs. And then there was the other little business with Craig. The import/export business.

‘Well, I’m not your accountant, am I? Thank fuck. What happened to that bloke you used to use? Stewie Shorthands?’ said Bren.

He got up from the counter and walked to the fridge in the corner of the room.

‘He went AWOL, didn’t he? Supposed to have drowned out near Seal Sands. He’s been missing without a trace for a couple of days now,’ said Tony.

Bren opened a can of Carling. As he clicked the ring pull, it frothed up, soaking his expensive suit.

‘Shit, are you still buying beer from News N Booze? The stuff that’s past its sell-by-date?’ he said.

‘It’s half price, man. Yer, canna wack it.’

Tony, the great business man, thought Bren. He’d always wondered how the shop, Tony’s Tunes, had kept in business for so long.

‘Listen Bren,’ said Tony. ‘I’ve got a little proposition for you.’

‘Oh, yes?’ said Bren. ‘And what might that be?’

‘Well,’ said Tony, handing his brother a small bar towel. ‘I’m in need of a little bit of creative accountancy.’

THE DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY

‘He’s worm meat,’ said Veronica Fleece.

‘Are you sure?’ said Tony, switching off the Tupac CD.

‘Well, I’m no Doctor House,’ said Veronica. ‘But look.’

Tony was trying not to gag as he looked down at Shorthands’ naked, flabby body, spread-eagled across the hotel bed. He had to agree with Veronica. The accountant had croaked. ‘What are we gonna do?’ said Veronica, pulling on a kimono.

‘We can’t exactly call an ambulance, can we? Not with all the happy-talc he’s got in him,’ said Tony. ‘Shit. Shit. Shit.’.

‘I told the daft, fat twat to take it easy with that stuff,’ said Veronica. ‘Eyes bigger than his gut.’

She collapsed onto the squeaky leather sofa.

Veronica and Tony both glanced at Shorthands’ stomach and burst out laughing.

‘Getting rid of him won’t be too hard. I’ll phone my dad. He’ll sneak him up to Jed Bramble’s pig farm,’ said Veronica, wiping the white powder from her nose.

Shit, thought Tony. He needed someone to prepare a set of accounts for him to give Craig, so that he didn’t know that Tony had been skimming off the top of the delivery payments. There was no other way, he realised. He’d have to contact Bren.

TODAY

‘I’ve mellowed, Bren. I really have,’ says Craig. ‘I’m a granddad now. I play golf. I go to car-boot sales. I recycle. But if there’s one thing guaranteed to get my goat, to wind me fucking up, it’s someone pissing down my back and trying to tell me it’s raining.’

Craig stands and stretches, yawns. ‘And that’s pretty much what you and your brother did. Eh?’

He walks over to a cupboard in the corner of the room. Unlocks it.

‘But, it’s not so much that. Everyone has their fingers in the till here and there. It’s standard practice. But getting found out. Getting caught so the whole world knows you’ve been taking the piss. Well…’

He pulls a golf bag from the cupboard. It clatters over, spilling clubs over the floor.

‘Fuck,’ says Craig. ‘Give us hand, eh?’

‘Maybe a nine iron,’ says Tony Murdoch, putting out a cigarette and walking over. ‘That should do the trick.’

(c) Paul D. Brazill

Short, Sharp Interview: L A Sykes

Lee Sykes Noir Medley

PDB: What’s going on?

 

Sorting out some manuscripts and working on some more short fiction.

Also, Near To The Knuckle are putting out the full collection of my short stories and flash fiction in a volume entitled Noir Medley.

 

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

 

No, the quieter the better these days. So I can earwig on the voices.

 

PDB: What makes you laugh?

 

Can’t go wrong with the old classics: Only Fools, Blackadder. I’m partial to satire, word play and things of that nature.

 

PDB: What’s the best cure for a hangover?

 

A pint of water and a hot shower followed by a fry up. Before that some deep breathing to stave off the panic as the flashbacks of the night before creep into conscious awareness.

 

PDB: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

 

I suppose I should be ambitious and say a platinum palace in the Antarctic, but to be honest I’d be happy enough up the Lake District.

 

PDB: Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it?

 

I haven’t considered a bucket list as I’m still conniving to cheat Death.

 

PDB: What’s on the cards?

 

Like I mentioned, Noir Medley, thirty six stories in one volume coming soon from Near To The Knuckle.

Also, the novella The Hard Cold Shoulder is being republished by the same crew later in the year. Another collection of short stories is in the works and some longer projects are being drafted.

 

PDB: Anything else?

 

Just a big thanks for having me. Cheers.

 

Bio: LA Sykes is a writer from Atherton, Greater Manchester, UK. He’s been up at the likes of Blink Ink, Shotgun Honey, Nightmare Illustrated, Spelk Fiction, podcasted at Dark Dreams and Blackout City and has a story in Dog Horn Press’ punkPunk! Anthology co-written with Mark Slade. He’s the author of Noir Medley: collected fiction volume 1 and the novella The Hard Cold Shoulder coming soon from Near To The Knuckle publishing and has other works lined up in the not so distant future.

Recommended Read: Tales From The Underbelly by Aidan Thorn

tales from the underbellyAidan Thorn’s Tales From The Underbelly is a collection of hard-hitting, interconnected crime stories, and is pure Brit Grit. The collection kicks off with a fistful of short, sharp jabs of flash fiction and ends with a couple of longer pieces which really show Thorn’s strengths.

A Sporting Chance is the story of a local football star who returns to his home town after a stint in the Premier League and has a fateful encounter with local gangster Tony Ricco. The final story, Worst Laid Plans, is a knockout punch telling the tale of a group of young lads whose lives soon spiral out of control after a night out. Worst Laid Plans is an absolute belter of a tale, full of dark humour, sharp twists and turns and great characters.

If you enjoyed Thorn’s cracking novella When the Music’s Over then you should most certainly grab a copy of Tales From The Underbelly.

Dave Wilde Reviews 13 Shots Of Noir

13 shots2Over at Goodreads, he says:

‘These are all good stories. “The Tut” begins with the unforgettable line: “After enduring forty-five years of a marriage that was at best, like wading through treacle, Oliver Robinson eventually had enough and smothered his wife with the beige corduroy cushion that he’d accidentally burned with a cigarette two fraught days before.” Wow, what an entire history Brazill packed into that one sentence! The second selection “Anger Management” is another short masterpiece. It is sort of a mood piece, but it is filled with lines like: “I’ve heard it said that eighteen months of sleep deprivation can drive you crazy.” You can honestly open up the book to any point in these thirteen stories and find something of interest, some dark haunting poetic line. “The Friend Catcher” is another short (they are all short) that begins with an amazingly thick line of prose: “The morning after Charlotte killed her father, the air tasted like lead and the sky was gun metal grey.” That’s a whole story right there.
Thirteen little gems packed into a short little book. I enjoyed these little glimpse into the darkness.’

Short, Sharp Interview: Beau Johnson

20525595_1907272402872470_5546300016962871857_nPDB: Can you pitch your latest book in 25 words?

BJ:  Nope.  Not enough space.  If I had more space, maybe.  But even then, maybe not.  Hate.  The book is about hate.  How we can use it better.

PDB: Which music, book, films or television do you wish you had written?

BJ:  Oh man, there are tons.  Silence of the Lambs.  Seven.  Lost.  Breaking Bad.  Up to season 7 of the X-files.  The episode where Buffy’s mom dies.  As for books: everything by Thomas Harris excluding Hannibal Rising.  The Long Walk by King.  The Jaunt.  The raft.  Music?  Wheat Kings by The Tragically Hip, our very own Canadian treasure.

PDB: Which books do you think would make great films or TV series?

BJ: I want to say the Dark Tower, but as it seems that particular ship might have somewhat sailed.

a better kind of hatePDB:  Who are the great British Writers?

BJ: PDB, naturally.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

BJ:  I have a few shorts in the pipe, some coming soon.  Bishop Rider has been poking his head up too, just headlining a new finished piece titled Old Ghosts.  It’s companion story to a yarn called Shift Work, where I once and for all debunk his reasons for retirement.  It might include dismemberment.

PDB: Anything else?

BJ:  Big thanks to you, Paul.  For offering this platform and for supporting me in the past.  If memory serves, you were one of the first who started sharing my work when I first got on to Facebook.  I want you to know I appreciate that, Paul.  I always have.

 BIO:  Beau Johnson has been published before, usually on the darker side of town.  Such fine establishments might include Out of the Gutter Online, Shotgun Honey, Spelk, HST, and/or the Molotov Cocktail.  A collection of Beau’s, A Better Kind Of Hate, is published by Down and Out Books.

The Last Shot at Near To The Knuckle

near to the knuckleI have a new yarn up at Near To The Knuckle. It’s called The Last Shot.

I was ten minutes late. Chunky Baines stood in the crisp factory doorway with his hands on his hips or at least where his hips used to be. He was wearing a grubby string vest, stained tracksuit bottoms and a pair of worn tartan slippers, despite the fact that it was pissing down with rain. He chomped on a bar of chocolate.
I jogged up to him, sweating like a pig.
‘You’re late,’ said Chunky, grinning.
‘No shit Sherlock,’ I said.
‘Yes, I know Sherlock’s shit,’ said Chunky. ‘But Wilson’s been looking for you. He knows you’re late.’

Read the rest here.

OUT NOW! The Thirteen Lives of Frank Peppercorn

frank peppercornThirteen 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

Grab it from Amazon,com, Amazon.co.uk and loads of other places called Amazon.