This week for Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott it seemed to me that it was a good time to run again my 2006 review of this collection. With all the hype regarding anthologies these days, this book was around ling before the current craze. Published by Wolfmont Publishing nearly a decade ago, Seven by Seven: Seven Deadly Tales Of The Seven Deadly Sins From Seven Deadly Authors edited by Tony Burton. Not only is the anthology a good one, it features earlier work from a number of authors who should be very well known now in and outside the mystery community.
Other than cleaning up a typo here and there and blowing the dust off, the review below is as it was published back in 2006. For your reading pleasure.....
When this anthology was first proposed, I withdrew from submitting to it because I believed it was a topic done to death. As a reviewer, a month does not go by without an author querying me about reviewing his or her new book involving the seven deadly sins. Of course, there are the movies with too many to name here. There was also the Prime Time Live Special last fall on the subject and I believe Dateline did one as well early last spring. Still, I was interested in the general idea and interested to see how it would be executed.
After an interesting forward by G. Miki Hayden and an introduction by editor Charles A. “Tony” Burton that amazingly manages to never once mention Dante or for that matter Shakespeare, (both considered well known writers on the subject to put it mildly) the reader gets to the short stories and numerous black and white illustrations. The first sin to be considered is “Lust.”
The highlight of the section is the story titled "True Colors” by John M. Floyd. The backdrop of a workplace shooting is complicated when the investigating officers can’t understand the witness clearly. But, at least they do have a witness.
“Gluttony” follows next and is showcased by “Refrigerator Raid” penned by Kimberly Brown. Hunger can drive one to do stupid things as Bennie and Clive soon learn.
Most of the stories in this anthology aren’t funny and aren’t meant to be. This is not true in “Catnapping” written by John Floyd. It is the highlight of the “Sloth” section and provides an answer about how to solve the annoying problem of the wife’s cat. It might just be the solution for other things as well.
Seeking personal solutions is also a component of the highlight story of the “Greed” section. Written by Deborah Elliott-Upton, “Money For Nothing” immediately reminds one of the song. In this case, the chicks aren’t free and will cost big time.
Taking a different track on the same background idea is B. J. Bourg in his story “Shot of Anger” located in the middle of the “Wrath” section. Bourg’s story takes dead aim at unfaithfulness and manages to twist reader expectations right at the end.
Frank Zafiro in his story “Wish” details the hopes and dreams of one man. The highlight of the “Envy” section considers what all of us have contemplated more than once.
The final sin covered is “Pride” and the highlight story for this reader is “Montgomery’s Marvelous Time Machine” written by Kimberly Brown. As she does in each section, Kimberly Brown weaves a tale much different than expected in an anthology of this type and yet her tale always fits the theme very well. This particular story revolves around a device mentioned in the title and the consequences of using said device.
In addition to the authors mentioned above, authors Sunny Frazier, (who soon will have her own novel out from this publisher) and Gary Hoffman have stories in each section as well. Author Frank Zafiro also has a novel currently out from this publisher titled Under a Raging Moon which will be reviewed here and elsewhere in the near future.
The 49 tales in this book along with the numerous illustrations provide a quick fun read. The highlighted stories were my personal favorites and your results may vary.
Seven by Seven: Seven Deadly Tales Of The Seven Deadly Sins From Seven Deadly Authors
Editor/Publisher Charles A. “Tony” Burton
Large Trade Paperback
The material was provided by the editor in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2006, 2010, 2015