Story Time for Grown-Ups Short Mysteries
Annotation:"The Last Supper" by Carole Lea Benjamin. Esther agrees to meet Harry and sign the divorce papers (finally!) at their favorite restaurant in The Village. It will be the last supper for one of them. "The Good Samaritan" by Charles Ardai. Someone is killing the homeless in Midtown, five people in seven weeks, all poisoned. The NYPD detective assigned to the case is sure he will find a clue to the killer eventually.
Annotation:"In for a Penny" by Lawrence Block. Paul was determined not to go back to prison. He got a job as a fry cook at a deli on Eighth Avenue and settled into a safe daily routine. The problem was he had to pass the Rose of Singapore bar on the way home. Each night he dreaded what might happen if he went in.
Annotation:"I’m Nobody" by Eduardo Antonio Parra, translated by Achy Obeja. The homeless man everybody calls Vikingo spends his days pushing a grocery cart piled high with all his stuff around his neighborhood in Mexico City and his nights sleeping in a parking lot. But last night he ran into Fernando, and now Vikingo, who can’t even remember his real name, is too scared to forget what happened last night.
Annotation:"Last Stop, Ditmars" by Tori Carrington. The widow of Mihalos Abramopoulos, the recently deceased owner of the Acropolis Diner in Astoria, asked me, owner of the Spyros Metropolis Detective Agency, to find her husband’s murderer. Was he killed accidentally when the diner was robbed during the blackout in the summer of 2006 or was the killer someone he knew?
Annotation:"Souls Burning" by Bill Pronzini. Eddie Quinlan, just out of Folsom Prison, moves to the Hotel Majestic in the heart of San Francisco’s Skid Road, where all around him he sees souls burning.
Annotation:"Last Train from Central Station" by Gunnar Staalesen. Heidi Davik ran away from her home in Norway to Copenhagen in 1985 when she was 16. Private detective Varg Veum found her and brought her home safely. Twenty-three years later, after her divorce, she runs away again. Veum returns to Copenhagen to search for her, hoping for another happy ending.
Annotation:"Eric’s Turn" by Rian Marie Extavour. Eric still loves his wife Cara; he vows to win her back, this time forever. "The Best Laid Plans" by Darby Maloney. Honesto had said he would split his winnings from the Ka Pau casino with his good friend Andre. When he changes his mind, Andre gets mad and then decides to get even.
Annotation:"The Scene" by Mylene Fernandez Pintado. My mother is dying of cancer; she has only two weeks to live. Our apartment building in Havana is closed for renovations, and we are all alone on the fourteenth floor overlooking the sea, waiting. "Settling of Scores" by Oscar F. Ortiz. When I was eleven and the soldiers shot my father as he was trying to flee Cuba for the United States. Someone in our Cuban-Chinese community of Cojimar betrayed him. I started planning my revenge that day.
Annotation:"Silence is Golden" by Boosta. Translated by Ann Goldstein He still loves her, but he can’t seem to do anything right in her eyes any more. During their last drive together on the Tangenziale Est di Roma, maybe they can talk things out, or maybe not.
Annotation:"Too Many Crooks" by Donald E. Westlake. Dortmunder’s planned bank robbery is off to a good start until he interrupts a robbery already in progress at the same bank.
Annotation:"The Man Who Loved Flowers" by Stephen King. Spring makes both love and flowers bloom, even in New York City in 1963. Everyone who saw the young man’s face knew he was in love, and they sighed and remembered if they were of a certain age or smiled and hoped if they were still young at heart. Meanwhile, the young man continued searching the city, looking for his Norma, again and again.
Annotation:"A Scandal in Bohemia" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Dr. Watson assists Sherlock Holmes in an interesting case involving royalty and blackmail. This is the first short story about Sherlock Holmes, published in 1891 following Doyle’s two successful novels about Holmes, A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four. It is also the story in which Sherlock Holmes meets Irene Adler, whom he afterwards always refers to as the woman.
Annotation:"A Scandal in Bohemia" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Dr. Watson assists Sherlock Holmes in an interesting case involving royalty and blackmail. This is the first short story about Sherlock Holmes, published in 1891.
Annotation:"A Scandal in Bohemia" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Dr. Watson assists Sherlock Holmes in an interesting case involving royalty and blackmail. This is the first short story about Sherlock Holmes, published in 1891. All the Sherlock Holmes stories (by Arthur Conan Doyle) are available online.
Annotation:"The Blue Cross" by G. K. Chesterton, Aristide Valentin, head of the Paris Police Department, has followed Flambeau, the world’s most famous criminal, all the way to England. Valentin believes that Flambeau will try to steal a valuable religious article that is to be displayed at the international conference of clergymen being held in London. After all, what could be easier than stealing from a trusting holy father? Ah, but Valentin and Flambeau have yet to meet Father Brown. This is the first of the Father Brown mysteries, published in 1910.
Annotation:This is the first of the Father Brown mysteries, published in 1910. All the Father Brown stories (by G. K. Chesterton) are available online (websites are on list).
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Mixed Bag: Story Time for Grown-Ups is a short story read-aloud program that meets every two weeks at lunch time. This summer in conjunction with the Summer Reading Mysteries theme, all the stories selected were mysteries. They were chosen from the books on this list; the specific stories read are noted in each book’s description. Many stories were from the Noir series published by Akashic Books; all the stories in each book focus on a particular city and are written by authors from that city, almost 70 cities so far. All the Sherlock Holmes stories (by Arthur Conan Doyle) and the Father Brown stories (by G. K. Chesterton) are available online (websites are on list).