Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Short Story Wednesday Review: Guilty Crime Story Magazine: Issue Six, Fall 2022

Guilty Crime Story Magazine: Issue Six, Fall 2022, opens with “Overnights at the Bumblebee Motel” by Michael Grimala.  Gordon has a driven a long way from Ohio to southern Louisiana in search of Hannah. He thinks the Bumblebee Motel might offer a clue or two in his search. He needs to find his sister.

Publisher and Editor Brandon Barrows is next with “One Last Ride.” Foley just wants to park his cab the night and go to bed. Dispatcher Hugh Spenser is a serious annoyance and he is not done with Foley yet. Instead, because the next driver is out sick, Foley has to keep working. He has to go to the airport on a nasty night and pick up a passenger named Thomas Bailey. Foley’s Bed, and his unhappy wife, are going to have to wait.

Steve Liskow’s short story, “Peepin’ and Hiddin’” is next where at least one of the neighbors is a real jerk. Unfortunately, he is teaching his own son the same bad ideas. Wes and Louie have fireworks, cherry bombs to be specific, and are perfectly willing to use them. It is July 1st, a drought is happening, and they have zero concern for others in their condo complex. That is going to change.

Dan Moore knows the kid is up to something in “You Wouldn’t Shoot Me” by Anderson Barnes. He tailed him from the buss and followed him off the bus at a stop in Roxbury. Every step they take sends Dan Moore deeper in a neighborhood he does not know and where it seems everyone is watching him.

He used to be a cop. Now, each evening, he sits in a bar and limits himself to five drinks. He plays an inner game with himself in “Some Sunny Day, Baby” by Joseph S. Walker and tries to figure out if this will be the night he goes for six. That is until a face from long ago, Anson Brancato, shows up and tells him of a problem and Carl Denham. Favors are owed and he owes Carl Denham.

“I’ll Scratch Yours” by Thomas Nicholson is next where our man is on a massage table having his bad shoulder and more worked on by an unseen masseuse. The department is paying and it should help him feel better. It might actually work if she did not talk so much. She has a lot to say.

The author, Mr. James, is meeting with a man known to some as Mr. John Wesley Hardin about an upcoming movie.  It is to be a western and he had some questions as Wyatt Earp, still living out in California, told him to get gone. Lonnie put the two together for his own reasons. Getting Mr. James to show up was just the first step in the plan in “The John Wesley Hardin Rag by Coy Hall.

The issue closes with the nonfiction piece, “The Jeff Davis 8: A True Crime Story” by. N. Fraley. It recounts the discovery of eight women in and around various bodies of water in Jennings, Louisiana. During the period between 2005 and 2009 the bodies of the women were found. All were sex workers who may have been killed by a serial killer. They may have been the victims of rogue police officers. We may never know as this piece explains.

As always, the stories in Guilty Crime Story Magazine: Issue Six, Fall 2022 are not happy reads. Like the tales in previous ones, these are not tales of people drinking tea, cats hanging out, or ones that make one content with the state of the world where one is sure all will work out. Far from it. Darkness, in a variety of ways, is probed in the tales that make up this issue. While this reader had his own favorites, all are solidly good reads.


My reading copy was a purchase of the eBook last October by way of funds in my Amazon Associate account. 


Kevin R. Tipple © 2023

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