Sunday, December 17, 2017
This is Simmons' second appearance in this blog. "Burnt Orange" is a fresh tale, by which I mean it went in directions I did not expect at all.
Shelby is a teenager with a problem. She likes to burn things.
Her mother is driving her to a reform school. Her mother, by the way, is a narcissist and a bit of a fabulist, which is no doubt is connected to the roots of Shelby's problems.
So I was expecting a story about a troubled kid, and I suppose in a way that's what I got.
But there are worse people out there than Shelby and her mother, and folks with worse problems. And if Shelby thinks fast enough she may be able to save a few lives. She may even get to use her, well, special talents to do it.
A clever tale.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
All the stories in this book take place at conventions, conferences, club meetings, or the like and part of the fun is seeing how the authurs use that. Simmons features, largely enough, a mystery weekend.
The twist is that all the guests - and hosts - come dressed as great fictional detectives, and are penalized if they dare to speak out of character. Now Inspector Bucket (from Dickens' Bleak House)
has tumbled down a flight of stairs and two genuine cops are trying to figure it out how it happened.
Their big problem is that the suspects and witnesses think they are part of the act and start ringing penalty bells if they try to speak as if this was a real-life event. Funny, and bizarre.
I may be prejudiced in favor of this story because it reminds me (in a non-plagiarizing way) of my story "Shanks Gets Killed," which also involves a murder weekend and a Maltese Falcon-related prize. But in any case, Simmons has given us a fun read.