Please welcome Larry W. Chavis, Vice-President of The Short Mystery Fiction Society, with his first review here on the blog. My hope is Larry will do many more…
Just the mention of the city name, New Orleans, conjures up a kaleidoscope of scenes: the stately St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square, dim and smoky bars where jazz musicians jam, phoenix-like resilience of a people rising up from Katrina's devastation, hushed whispers of secret voodoo practices, bayous rioting with life but familiar with death. What better place to hold the 2016 World Mystery Convention, aka Bouchercon, and what better theme for a companion anthology than Blood on the Bayou?"
As is the custom with Bouchercon, this anthology was released in conjunction with the convention, and its proceeds all go to charity, this year the New Orleans Public Library. Some of the finest writers of short mystery/crime fiction working today contributed their stories to this anthology that explores the myriad settings and characters that can be conjured in the Big Easy and the Louisiana bayou country. O'Neil De Noux, himself a former NOPD detective, gives us "The Blind Lagoon Misadventure," in which a savvy detective looks outside the box to identify a most unusual killer. In "ebgdea," Scottish author G. J. Brown traces the tragic consequences of a sister's death across the years. An escaped convict meets karma in John Floyd's "The Blue Delta," while in "The Boggy Bayou Caper" by Terrie Fairley Moran, a scorned lover seeks revenge on a singer with a gaudy guitar.
In addition, stories by Eric Beetner, Sheila Connolly, Alison Gaylin, R. T. Lawton, David Morrell, Gary Phillips, Elaine Viets, and eleven more make this anthology a showcase of good writing and satisfying reading. And, as noted, it's for a good cause, too.
(Note: My copy was purchased at Bouchercon 2016, New Orleans, LA.)
Deciding at the advanced age of 44 to earn a physics degree to complement his theological degree, Larry enrolled in the University of Southern Mississippi, where he spent three exciting, if exacting, years, accomplishing his goal with honors. Upon graduation, he entered the public education system, teaching physics, trigonometry, and calculus. Semi-retired now (although still teaching two classes), he has a bit more time to work on writing. Larry has had stories published in "Crime and Suspense Ezine," "Kings River Life Magazine," and the anthology, Ten for Ten, edited by Tony Burton. Larry lives in south-central Mississippi with his wife of 38 years and a severely spoiled Shih-tsu named Sammie.