I’m in Vegas, baby! And it’s a crazy time in Vegas, full of dentists, business and revelry of one kind or another. I’m also trying to finish an edit of my first Paula book in time to get it in for the Malice Domestic competition (publication and cash money from St. Martin’s Press to the winner). But I still found time to finish an anthology, Delta Blues, edited by Carolyn Haines.
The book has 19 stories by authors you know and love, including Charlaine Harris, John Grisham, and James Lee Burke. What they have in common is the feeling of the deep south, the riff of R&B, a pinch of evil, and the bone-deep awareness that what is gonna be, is gonna be.
There’s a lot to like in the book, and my two favorite stories are the last two. John Grisham’s story, Fetching Raymond, is an affecting and realistic look at the last hours of a man awaiting execution, as seen by his family. He’s an empty shell of a braggadocio. And they love him.
Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly team up with What His Hands Have Been Waiting For, a nice story of redemption. Three souls bound for ruin come together – and save each other.
I got Delta Blues for free by going to Bouchercon – part of my Bouchercon booty, but I’ve got to say, I love short stories and this is an anthology I’m happy to own and would cheerfully paid for.