Here there be short fiction!

The Butler Didn’t Do It

Chesapeake Crimes I

I started out my fiction writing career with a story that came to me in a dream. That said, the final product was only tangentially related, as the OG dream was more of a historical, Victorian era story and only one image from the dream remained. I powered through and in a ridiculously short time, I had a 7000 word short that was accepted for publication in Chesapeake Crimes I, a charity anthology collection to benefit my then-local chapter of Sisters in Crime. Funnily enough, my story was nominated for the Agatha Award (as was one of my fellow contributor/good friend’s story – which took the prize.) Pretty awesome for my very first short story (that wasn’t a school-related assignment!)

Agatha Award Nominee for Best Short Story 2004
originally published in Chesapeake Crimes I.

What happens when your weird cousin sends you a telegram stating that your aunt’s dead and the butler did it? Lindsay discovers that there’s more in store than a traditional English funeral and the requisite neighborhood gathering. Way more.

A Scent of Death

Written in 2010 thanks to an email from my sort-of-cousin, who needed another story for San Diego Noir (part of Akashic Books Noir series.) I volunteered to write a story set in a city I had yet to visit…

That said, she knew I was headed to San Diego Comic Con, and figured I could whip out a story for the collection. Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t actually set the story at SDCC, instead using an urban fantasy San Diego, mostly in the Gaslamp District, which I fell in love with while at the con.

Maria Lima contributes something rare for the Akashic Noir series, a crossgenre story set in the heart of the city’s downtown.

San Diego is home to miles of beaches, Balboa Park, a world-famous zoo, and some of the country’s most expensive home and resort real estate. Yet the city also houses a few items that aren’t actively promoted by the visitor’s bureau: a number of the country’s most corrupt politicians, border-related crimes, terrorists, and the occasional earthquakes. A noir feast!

In the 50-plus years since Raymond Chandler set Playback in Esmeralda, his name for La Jolla, the population has grown by more than a million, and crime has proliferated as well. San Diego of the past and the present offers the book’s contributors a rich selection of settings, from the cross on Mount Soledad to the piers of Ocean Beach, and perpetrators and victims from the residents of its wealthiest enclaves to the inhabitants of its segregated barrios.