It has been a very long time since Earl Staggs came by with a review. Today he reviews the new short story collection, From Hay To Eternity: Ten Devilish Tales of Crime and Deception by Sandra Murphy.
In the ten stories in this collection, Sandra Murphy exhibits her deliciously inventive imagination to create stories and memorable characters which will involve you and entertain you from beginning to end.
Here's a sampling.
In “Superstition,” a woman ponders them all: stepping on a crack, walking under a ladder, a black cat crossing your path, three black birds on your roof mean death, and more. What is real and what is foolish imagination and silliness? Once she figures it out, she knows what she must do.
“The Chicken Pot Pie Fiasco,” concerns a large quirky family in the process of preparing their own traditional Thanksgiving meal. In this family, it's a huge chicken pot pie. Our narrator, who manages too observe it all without getting involved due to his “stealth,” explains, “There’s one big pie, and if there’s some of the inside stuff left over, there are little pies for later. I like that part.” Everyone adds their own favorite ingredients, but a surprise ingredient somehow gets added which no one expected.
For “The Space Heater vs. the Window Fan,” we meet a woman who only needs to get dressed and prettied up for her sister's wedding. Unfortunately, every necessary machine, from her computer to the local laundromat's equipment, refuses to cooperate and do its part, culminating in a major struggle with one particularly stubborn appliance.
The title story, “From Hay to Eternity,” takes on a darker turn and gives us a murder mystery. It begins with the driver announcing, “Welcome to the hayride. Listen up! Find a seat on the bench or one of the hay bales and hold on. Our horse, Sam, sometimes rocks the wagon when he starts, but it will be a smooth ride after that.”
Riders on the haywagon include a cross section of local parents and children, along with a pair of feuding brothers and an attention-grabbing teenage girl wearing tiny cut-off jeans and a tight top designed to “show what your momma gave you.” Her goal is to turn the hayride into a photo op which will make her the next supermodel. She has no idea that one photo will turn the hayride into something other than a smooth ride.
There are six more stories in this collection and each one is a delightful gem. Sandra Murphy is an author to watch. Her stories will not disappoint.
· Print Length: 90 pages
· Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
· Publisher: Untreed Reads (May 25, 2017)
· Publication Date: May 25, 2017
· Language: English
· ASIN: B0714MY8CD
Earl Staggs © 2017
Texas author Earl Staggs earned all Five Star reviews for his novels MEMORY OF A MURDER and JUSTIFIED ACTION and has twice received a Derringer Award for Best Short Story of the Year. He served as Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Magazine, as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars.
He invites any comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
He also invites you to visit his blog site at http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com to learn more about his novels and stories.