This collection was written differently than the novels.  As per our promise, we include initials for the primary writer for each of the stories.  Enjoy!


The Long Walk ~ PO

in which detective John Fleck returns with his sweet girlfriend from Atlanta to a Berkeley crime scene—his?  This story won the MWA’s 50th Anniversary Golden Mystery contest, 2nd place for a published author, even though it was published before our first novel.

Success Without College ~ MO

a drive-by shooting or something more? Investigator Paul van Wagoner takes it on.

Dead Money ~ PO

After ages in recovery and years of living right, Timberlake Sheriff Tim Breen is tempted to stray when a local goes missing. This story has been optioned twice by filmmakers but sadly, has never been filmed.

O’Shay’s Special Case ~ MO

Distinguished attorney Patrick O’Shay risks his reputation, his marriage and the loyalty of his staff for a disquieting client.

House Afire ~ MO

Mom finds life tepid after her precious son leaves home, but life is full of surprises.

His Master’s Hand—Dostoevsky resurrected ~ PO

A new underground man digs up graves, and comes up against his modern, female match.

Gertrude Stein Solves a Mystery At Bilignin ~ PO

Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein entertain and uncover a mystery and solve it entertainingly uncovering a mystery. Honoring Gertrude’s inimitable style.

The Furnace Man ~ MO

Mrs. Rodriguez has plenty of troubles without having to cope with the nasty furnace man, who shows up unexpectedly one dark night.

Trio ~ MO

Victoria plays games with love but in real life, love is elemental, not a game.

The Second Head ~ MO

In pain after a horrendous car accident, a hospital patient plots revenge. Then comes along a man who had a second head.

Chocolate Milkshake ~ PO

An affair with sweets leads an ashamed woman to desperate measures.

The Young Lady ~ MO

Her teacher asks about point-of-view, and it’s the key to understanding her, and all the trouble she might bring him.

Juggernaut ~ BOTH

The power of law in the form Nina Reilly takes on a man bent on making money by staging a fatal accident.

The Couple Behind the Curtain ~ MO

Gretchen’s broken her ankle. Her alienated husband Craig is there to get her home and out of his hair. He believes he can leave her.  Ha.

Sandstorm ~ PO

An overwhelmed soul feels sand blowing through her head and cannot get with the program anymore.

Tiny Angels ~ MO

An FBI agent tries to foil a kidnapping but it’s not that easy without the assistance of his astute partner. Here’s a modern homage to Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of her Peers” 1917.

To Still the Beating of Her Heart ~ MO

They loved each other utterly, and utterly failed when circumstances changed who they became. So then what? Poison?

Lemons ~ PO

The fecund tree in the backyard sends Doris around to the neighbors with freebies they don’t want, need, or recognize as serious offerings.

A Grandmother’s Tale ~ PO

Sometimes even fairy tales come true. That’s how it went for Jane until a worm began to burrow deep in her heart.