"On Grasmere Lake," by Mathangi Subramanian, in Denver Noir, edited by Cynthia Swanson, Akashic Press, 2022.
An epistolary story set in a school Makes me think of Up the Down Staircase. But this one uses mostly email instead of memos.
K-9 Officer Bradley is assigned to an elementary school as a resource officer, largely because his charge,k Boomer, flunked his test as a drug-sniffing dog. Now Bradley is using the pooch to try to make connections with the kids. And Boomer starts getting disturbing letters from a third-grader. Is she just having every-day kid problems or is something much more serious going on?
This story is something different and I enjoyed it a lot.
The publisher sent me a free copy of this book.
A private eye story with a twist. Wayne Furlong became a P.I. because he got laid off from his previous work as a newspaper restaurant critic. Since he wrote under a pseudonym no one knows that he was the guy who wrote those vicious critiques - including his current client, a hotel manager whose restaurant still hasn't recovered.
But the problem she hires him to deal with took place many floors above the dubious charms of the food shop. A marketing guru had been decapitated in a hotel room a year ago and the crime had not been solved. The manager hoped that if the killer is caught the bad attention, in the form of reporters and podcasters, would blessedly retreat.
Furlong approaches the problem with the exquisite eye for detail of an experienced food critic, and that is what makes the story unique.
This is Breen's second appearance in this space.
So, what's Anne Boleyn been up to lately?
Same old, same old. Wandering around the Tower of London, but in spite of the famous music hall song, she has her head firmly on her shoulders, not underneath her arm.
An American tourist named Kit discovers this when she drops dead in the Tower and Queen Anne arrives for a chat. I am describing this as if the story is a comedy but it isn't. Boleyn comes across as a tragic figure, and very sharp except for her blind love for that nasty husband of hers.
How sharp? She is the one who figures out that Kit was poisoned. (She is shocked that Kit has no poison tester.)
The two wronged women managed to help each other out in this very clever story.