Sunday, June 5, 2016
The Best Laid Plans, by Barb Goffman
My fellow SleuthSayer Barb Goffman has contributed a nice tale to Malice Domestic's latest anthology, which contains stories related to conventions, conferences, and suchlike scenes of murder and mayhem. Oops, I should have mentioned that this is her second appearance in this column. I like to keep track of that.)
Including Malice International, the mystery conference to which narrator Eloise Nickel has been invited for a lifetime achievement award. Should be a thrill but the guest of honor happens to be Kimberly, a former protege who had gone on to fame and "dropped me like a bloody knife." Kimberly takes gleeful opportunity to do it again in an article published just before the conference. She compares her own suspenseful novels to Eloise's old-fashioned cozy books, which some the elderly readers still apparently like - Well, you get the idea. It ain't pretty.
Eloise starts plotting revenge. Not murder, of course. Just some dreadful pain and misery for her rival, to be delivered at the conference.
But, alas, that doesn't seem to be as easily done as said. People keep rescuing Kimberly, purely by accident. What's a frustrated revenge-planner to do?
The main reason this story made my Best Of column was the surprise - not twist -ending. A nice little trick provided a satisfying conclusion.