Saturday, December 3, 2022

Street Versus the Stalker, by Pam Barnsley


"Street Versus the Stalker," by Pam Barnsley, in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, November/December 2022.

A modest little story that gets most things right.

Gina is an inner-city teacher and a genuinely nice person, the kind who makes friends easily with people you and I might cross the street to avoid.

When some of these folks notice a van following her in a suspicious manner they react, much like antibodies to an infection.  But they are busy and not the best organized crowd, so it is not certain whether the good guys will win...

Nice writing, too. Here is a description of the woman who runs a produce store:

Ava rattled off the math for the oranges under her breath, offered a discount, entered the amount in the cash register, loaded oranges into Gina's cloth bag, nudged a box of apples back into place with her hip, held the portable credit-card machine for Gina to swipe, scratched her shin with her running shoe, and tilted her head to watch the street.

No wonder her grandson says she has ADHD.

I enjoyed this tale a lot.

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