Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Review: "Criminalities: Three Short Crime Stories and an Essay" by Barry Ergang

Criminalities: Three Short Crime Stories and an Essay begins with “Jewel of Denial.” The owners of the Forest Grove Inn, Lainie Truscott and Frank Truscott, were thrilled when the wealthy widow, Ramona Braithwaite came to stay with them. Mrs. Braithwaite was also quite pleased with her accommodations. That is until the Tuesday after Memorial Day when her diamond-and-ruby bracelet was discovered to be missing. She wasn’t the only one to suffer a loss of valuable belongings.

The local police were called in and could only conclude a thief came in the night. They had no idea who might have been the culprit and had no clues to pursue.  Lainie Truscott has a suspect in mind. If she is right, fixing the problem could be a bit tricky in this tale originally published in the June 2005 issue of Mysterical-E.

The 2007 Derringer award winning best flash story, “The Vigilante,” published in the summer 2006 issue comes next. Weissman isn’t impressed with the young skinhead’s theatrics. It is time to permanently educate the young punk.

Last fall, “Brianna’s Way” was published in the first issue of Flash Bang Mysteries and was one of two stories selected as the “Editor’s Choice.”  The tale appears again here in this read. Mr. Rutledge’s ex-wife, Brianna, stands accused of murdering her second husband, Caleb Gillis. For her first husband, now a former detective, neither Brianna nor her lawyer, Hampton Conrad, are people he wants to deal with at all. But, as a matter of curiosity, he agrees to meet with Mr. Conrad just to see what the woman who destroyed his life might want now.

The author’s essay “Impossible Pleasures” brings the short read to a close. First published in Mysterical-E back in 2004 the revised and expanded version that appears here also ran in the May 4, 2013 issue of Kings River Life Magazine. The essay recounts how the author became a fan of the mystery genre especially in regards to “impossible crime” stories.

Those reading influences can be seen in the three short tales in this free book by way of Smashwords. Not only does the book give readers an idea regarding the book the author’s background, the read provides a small sample of the author’s award winning and otherwise work. Plenty of mystery and character development is at work in these tales. Criminalities: Three Short Crime Stories and an Essay is a highly entertaining fast read. 

Criminalities: Three Short Crime Stories and an Essay
Barry Ergang
ISBN: 9781311229854
June 2016
22 Pages

Material was picked up by me to read and review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2016


Barry Ergang said...

Thanks, Kevin!

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Enjoyed it and glad to say so.

Earl Staggs said...

I have my copy and look forward to a good read. Barry never disappoints me.