Bones litter the street…
A catastrophic flood in Ellicott City leaves more than damaged buildings in its wake: a human skeleton now lies scattered along Main Street. Did a colonial settler wash out of his grave? Or is it murder? As Detective Lieutenant Rick Peller and his team investigate, the descendants of James Ferring, a local business icon from a bygone era, become the focus, and Peller is sure they’re hiding something.
There are clues aplenty. The gun shop owned by Chuck Ferring is a magnet for vandals and thieves. Art Ferring’s horse was gunned down by an unknown assailant. And the Colonial Bakery, the jewel in the Ferring crown, is the only possible source of the bones. The family has explanations for everything, until a double murder threatens to unravel their secrets. And now, someone lurking in the shadows will stop at nothing to prevent Peller from uncovering the truth.
Tales of mirth, imagination, and mayhem.
Nothing is quite what it seems in this realm. Partners cross each other, intentionally or otherwise. Late-night visitors appear from nowhere and linger long after they’re gone. Mountain lakes, forests, and caves harbor secrets best not revealed. And every day, curious encounters change lives.
In this eclectic gathering of thirty-one short tales, including award-winning flash fiction and longer stories, you’ll encounter crimes gone wrong, one-way journeys to other worlds, and ordinary people entangled with extraordinary circumstance. Some will chill you, some will get you thinking, and some will have you laughing out loud.
Because in The Realm of Tiny Giants, something unexpected is always just around the bend.
Those weasels are up to something!
Between them, Bernard and Melody Earls have looks, charm, brains . . . everything but money. That’s why they steal from the rich and give to themselves. So when Alexander Hamilton Plaskett hires them to nick a silver statuette of a pine marten from his brother Paul Revere Plaskett, they’re happy to oblige. But it won’t be as easy as it looks. For one thing, the little beast is guarded by Fitzroy Fortresses, the best security system money can buy. For another, the five Plaskett siblings are obnoxious buffoons. Still, a job is a job, and this one may offer more than it appears.
At least, that’s Bernard’s theory. The pine marten isn’t particularly valuable, so why do the Plasketts contest its ownership so fiercely? To find out, he and Melody insinuate themselves into the Plasketts’ world and enlist a college geek to hack the unhackable Fitzroy system. Failure means poverty. Discovery means prison. And the biggest obstacle to Bernard’s brilliant schemes? Melody’s penchant for running off-script!
Fly off the edge of the map!
Space Operatic is a tale of high culture on the fringes of our solar system, surrounded by corporate greed, abuse of power, rebellious miners, bloodthirsty mercenaries, outrageous lies, intense loathing, inane conversations, and more unintended consequences than you can shake a baton at.
Howard County Mystery Novels
Detective Lieutenant Rick Peller and his colleagues Detective Sergeants Corina Montufar and Eric Dumas investigate crime in central Maryland, from robberies that turn deadly to serial murder. Click the covers to purchase from your favorite bookseller or find them in my online store.
A Day for Bones, Howard County Mystery #4, is now available for pre-order! (Release date: August 29 2022.)
The Belt: A science fiction drama
A stunning discovery doomed by greed. A renegade professor hunted by powerful enemies. A band of young scientists betrayed by the law and the lawless. Across the frigid wastes of Mars, among the airless rocks of the asteroid belt, Dr. Miguel Hernandez and his protégés fight for life and legacy.
The Belt is available on Kindle Vella. Read Vella stories on the Amazon website or the Amazon app for IOS. The first three episodes free. After that, buy tokens from Amazon to unlock additional episodes. New Vella users get 200 free tokens. Additional tokens can be bought in bundles, starting at $1.99 for 200 tokens. Episodes of The Belt typically cost about 30 tokens.
Don’t wait! Launch yourself into The Belt today!
Here are a few of my short stories from Medium.com. I’m giving these to you free of charge. (Medium charges $5/month for unlimited access.) Story Corner subscribers receive more of these every month, so be sure to sign up. Plus, you’ll get a free gift just for subscribing.
|One Chicago Night|
And old medicine man at the top of the world.
|On the Beach|
A nice place to be stranded, no matter how far from home.
Not of trees but deadly metal.
The queen is safe. Or is she?
|In the Butcher Shop|
Time to leave, but there’s nowhere to run.
|The Fortune Teller|
Do spirits whisper in her ear, or is it just your face?
Works in Progress
I’m novelizing my Kindle Vella series The Belt. (See description above.) Depending on circumstances, it could be released by the end of 2022.
Penitence, a near-future post-apocalyptic tale about a world in which psychoactive biological weapons have run amok, is about a third written (as of mid-August 2022). Based in a short story I wrote decades ago, it seems strangely relevant to the COVID-19 world, although I swear I started work on the novelization well before this particular coronavirus appeared.
Rooftop Sonata (Bernard and Melody Caper #2) is in the very early planning stages.
A few months before she passed away, wife Kathleen gave me some material for Howard County Mystery #5. I don’t have a title or even a plot for it yet, just an idea, but it will materialize in due course.