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Murder Here Murder There
cover design © 2012. Ardy M. Scott.



An anthology of original mysteries written by award-winning authors of the American Crime Writers League.



Book Excerpt



Murder Here, Murder There

R. Barri Flowers and Jan Grape, Editors


A list of contents.

Introduction by John Lutz
"Convinced" by R. Barri Flowers
"Out of Focus" by Meg Chittenden
"Mom's Kitchen" by John Lutz
"Incident in Aspen" by Margaret Coel
"Getting Even" by Bill Crider
"I'm Learning" by Twist Phelan
"The Walls" by Jay Brandon
"How to Create a Woman in Just 28 Days" by Kris Neri
"Here, There and Everywhere" by Edward Marston
"Mace" by Dakota Banks
"Today I Killed Someone" by Claire Carmichael
"Death of a Minuteman" by Taffy Cannon
"A Certain and Untimely Death" by Lauren Haney
"When I Grew Up" by Valerie Malmont
"A Small Town in Maine" by Jim Ingraham
"The Hanging John" by Marlys Millhiser
"Stay Tuned" by Noreen Ayres
"Revere Point" by Robert J. Randisi
"The Confession" by Jan Grape


From the Editors


Welcome to the American Crime Writers League second mystery anthology.

Founded by Robert Randisi and Ed Gorman in the late 1980s to bring together professional mystery authors in a private forum to exchange ideas, the American Crime Writers League is still going strong in the 21st century as a writing organization for serious and proven writers of mystery fiction.

After the critical acclaim of the first ACWL anthology, Murder Past, Murder Present, a follow-up was a given. Murder Here, Murder There brings together many of the bestselling, award-winning, international contributors from the previous anthology, while adding new talents in putting forth another superb collection of original mysteries that shine brightly on the ACWL.

Readers will find an eclectic group of intriguing tales of mystery, suspense, thrills, and murder that will offer something tantalizing for everyone.

Contributors include Edgar award winning, bestselling author John Lutz, who also did a great introduction; Jay Brandon, whose tale in Murder Past, Murder Present was selected for The Best American Mystery Stories 2010; Margaret Coel, Bill Crider, Edward Marston, Kris Neri, Meg Chittenden, Twist Phelan, Robert Randisi, and other gifted members of the ACWL.

In all, this is an amazing group of authors, who have created gripping, unforgettable mystery stories that rank with the best in short mystery fiction.

We hope you enjoy the anthology and will read some of the talented authors' other published works as well.

The Editors,

R. Barri Flowers & Jan Grape



John Lutz

Murder here, murder there. It can happen anywhere. That's what we have between the covers of this book--murder. And committed in various locales by some of the most lethal perpetrators in the business. That is, when it comes to mystery fiction.

In the devious "Getting Even," clever Bill Crider illustrates why walking for your health doesn't necessarily take you where you want to go. Mystery master Jay Brandon with "The Walls" contributes a cozy family tale, not necessarily heart-warming. The supremely skilled and imaginative Kris Neri gives us "How to Create a Woman in Just 28 Days." Think lunar cycle. No, don't.

Top-notch authors from different parts of the country demonstrate how, be it over time or topography, murder travels well. They are all experts in the art of fiction and can make you truly believe that what you're reading is real. I can guarantee you that it isn't.

Still, murder here, murder there, it can happen anywhere.

With a knife, with a gun.

And to anyone.

(Anyone fictionally.)

The crafty Dakota Banks checks in with "Mace," a tale that in more ways than one hits the bulls-eye. Valerie Malmont mesmerizes as only she can with "When I Grew Up," a fine story set in post-war Okinawa, when the killing was over--or was it? Prolific and gifted Robert J. Randisi shows us in "Revere Point" that even picturesque Midwest river towns, where most people are on a first-name basis and have learned to get along, aren't immune to murder. The accomplished Noreen Ayres skillfully guides us through a fascinating labyrinth of California scheming.

The aforementioned names are some of the best in the demanding art of the mystery short story. It might be more time consuming to write a novel, but it's more difficult to write a good short story. It takes years of dedication to master the form.

What makes a good mystery short story? Suspense? Action? Emotion? Curiosity? Those ingredients for sure. Add subtlety and fine writing, and you have a truly fatal concoction. That's what we present in these pages, and with quite a lineup of writers. If this were baseball instead of mystery fiction, it would be the All Star Game.

Some of these writers have killed using various aliases. (Let's call them pseudonyms--it sounds better.) Some of them, pseudonymously or not, simply sound dangerous--and interesting. Twist Phelan. (Can we trust a woman named Twist? Go ahead, if you want. It might be entertaining.) Then there's Taffy Cannon. (Sweet and explosive could be a potent combination.)

I could go farther down the list of contributors, but the hair on the back of my neck is already standing up. Haney, Coel, Marston, Millhiser, Chittenden, Ingraham, Carmichael.... Aren't they innocuous sounding names? Why, they could be choir members. But they're not. Every last one of the writers in this book can give you the creeps, and that's not an easy thing to do with just a pencil, typewriter, or computer.

Then we have our editors, R. Barri Flowers and Jan Grape. Flowers and grapes. Things that grow and have what I would describe as happy connotations.

Things used to make funeral wreaths, and that you can choke on.

I do have to stop now, as I'm getting uneasy. Yes, it's possible that I've left out some contributor names. That isn't because they're the most lethal and I'm afraid to point them out. It isn't, really. Anyway, none of these authors is actually dangerous. What they write is scary but untrue. Fiction. You can trust me when I tell you it's all make-believe. None of it is real.

Of course, they are writers. They must do research using books and medical literature, perhaps the Internet. Various sources.

Read on and see what you think. But if I were you, from time to time I'd glance over my shoulder. Anything--even murder--can happen anytime, anywhere.

To anyone.





About the editors

R. Barri Flowers

R. Barri Flowers is the author of more than sixty books, including mystery and thriller novels, Murder in Honolulu, Murder in Maui, Dark Streets of Whitechapel, Justice Served, and Ghost Girl in Shadow Bay.

Flowers' bestselling true crime books include Serial Killer Couples, Mass Murder in the Sky, and The Sex Slave Murders. The latter was excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine and the basis for episodes of two cable TV crime investigation series.

Along with Murder Here, Murder There, he is the editor of mystery anthology, Murder Past, Murder Present, and the true crime anthology, Masters of True Crime: Chilling Stories of Murder and the Macabre.

His short stories have appeared in anthologies including "The Wrong End of a Gun" in Seattle Noir and "Death by Trial and Error" in Murder Across The Map.

Flowers is a recipient of the prestigious Wall of Fame Award from Michigan State University's renowned School of Criminal Justice. He has been interviewed on the Biography Channel and Investigation Discovery and by ABC News.

The author is currently working on a new psychological suspense novel, Seduced to Kill in Kauai, and the young adult mystery, Teen Ghost at Dead Lake.

TTB titles: Murder Here, Murder There
Murder Past, Murder Present

Author web site.

Jan Grape

Jan Grape is co-editor of Murder Here, Murder There and an award-winning writer with a mystery series and more than two dozen short stories to her credit.

Her novels include Dark Blue Death (Five Star, 2005) and the Anthony nominated Austin City Blue (Worldwide Library, 2003). Both feature Austin police detective Zoe Barrow.

Grape is a double award winner with an Anthony for Best Short Story, "A Front Row Seat," and Macavity for a co-authored nonfiction book, Deadly Women (Carroll & Graf, 1997). She has also been nominated for an Edgar, Shamus, and Agatha.

The author's mystery stories have appeared in a collection, Found In Texas (Five Star, 2003). She has also contributed to several anthologies.

Grape, who once owned a mystery bookstore with her late husband, Elmer, is currently the President of the American Crime Writers League and former Vice President of the Southwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America.

The author's latest mystery novel is What Doesn't Kill You (Five Star, 2010).

TTB titles: Murder Here, Murder There
Murder Past, Murder Present

Author web site.




Murder Here, Murder There Copyright © 2012. R. Barri Flowers and Jan Grape. All rights reserved by the authors. Please do not copy without permission.


  Author News


  What people are saying

"Murder Here, Murder There, the new American Crime Writers League anthology, is an exceptionally fine collection of mystery stories spanning the globe--vivid, fast-paced, literate and unforgettable. Not to be missed!"
Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling author and co-creator of the famed Pendergast series

"A delightful, engrossing anthology featuring some of the best and most promising of crime writers."
Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini

"A powerhouse collection from a blue ribbon list of the best in the business. Gripping, exciting, engaging stories–an absolute must-read."
Joe Moore, international bestselling co-author of The Phoenix Apostles

"This anthology shines, with such chilling stories as John Lutz's "Mom's Kitchen," and Meg Chittenden's sweetly sinister "Out of Focus." This anthology is even better than the first!"
Susan Rogers Cooper, author of Husband and Wives




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