Tuesday and my long day on a long week.
But I got this in my inbox yesterday:
Isn’t that nice? I absolutely love that cover.
Table of contents:
Intro by Tim Dorsey
The Burglar Who Strove to Go Straight by Lawrence Block
The Best Laid Plans by Holly West
There’s An Alligator in My Purse by Paul D. Marks
Mr. Bones by Hilary Davidson
Cold Beer No Flies by Greg Herren
Frozen Iguana by Debra Lattanzi Shutika
The Fakahatchee Goonch by Jack Bates
The Case of the Missing Pot Roast by Barb Goffman
How to Handle a Shovel by Craig Pittman
Postcard for the Dead by Susanna Calkins
The Hangover by John D. MacDonald
Muscle Memory by Angel Luis Colon
The Unidentifieds by J. D. Allan
All Accounted for at the Hooray for Hollywood Hotel by Eleanor Cawood Jones
Southernmost Point by Neil Plakcy
Quarters for the Meter by Alex Segura
Breakdown by Brendan DuBois
Winner by Michael Wiley
Frontier Justice by John M. Floyd
When Agnes Left Her House by Patricia Abbott
The Ending by Reed Farrel Coleman
And here’s the opening for my story, “Cold Beer No Flies”:
Dane Brewer stepped out of his air-conditioned trailer, wiped sweat off his forehead and locked the door. It was early June and already unbearably hot, the humidity so thick it was hard to breathe. He was too far inland from the bay to get much of the cooling sea breeze but not so far away he couldn’t smell it. The fishy wet sea smell he was sick to death of hung in the salty air. It was omnipresent, inescapable. He trudged along the reddish-orange dirt path through towering pine trees wreathed in Spanish moss. The path was strewn with pine cones the size of his head and enormous dead pine needles the color of rust that crunched beneath his shoes. His face was dripping with sweat. He came into the clearing along the state road where a glorified Quonset hut with a tin roof stood. It used to be a bait and tackle until its resurrection as a cheap bar. It was called My Place. It sounded cozy—the kind of place people would stop by every afternoon for a cold one after clocking out from work, before heading home.
The portable reader board parked where the parking lot met the state road read Cold Beer No Flies.
Simple, matter of fact, no pretense. No Hurricanes in fancy glasses like the touristy places littering the towns along the gulf coast. Just simple drinks served in plain glasses, ice-cold beer in bottles or cans stocked in refrigerated cases at simple prices hard-working people could afford. Tuscadega’s business was fish, and its canning plant stank of dead fish and guts and cold blood for miles. Tuscadega sat on the inside coast of a large shallow bay. The bay’s narrow mouth was crowned by a bridge barely visible from town. A long two-lane bridge across the bay led to the gold mine of the white sand beaches and green water along the Gulf Coast of Florida. Tourists didn’t flock to Tuscadega, but Tuscadega didn’t want them, either. Dreamers kept saying when land along the gulf got too expensive the bay shores would be developed, but it hadn’t and Dane doubted it ever would.
Tuscadega was just a tired old town and always would be, best he could figure it. A dead end the best and the brightest fled as soon as they were able.
He was going to follow them one day, once he could afford it.
Towns like Tuscadega weren’t kind to people like Dane.
You can preorder it here , or from your local independent. DO IT.
Don’t make me come over there.