To my delight, one of my short stories was chosen for inclusion in this new volume, Chesapeake Crimes: This Job is Murder. Award winning/nominated authors Donna Andrews, Marcia Talley and Barb Goffman edited the anthology. Some of the authors wrote about their “the story behind the story,” which I hope you enjoy. E. B. Davis
I try to be an understanding wife, but when my husband lusts and drools over fishing boats, he strains my patience. Unfortunately, a certain store catering to men’s fishing and gaming hobbies locates its retail outlets so that they are visible along I-95 and VA Route 64, highways we use frequently. It’s a wonder there aren’t more accidents along these highways because the stores use their parking lots to showcase fishing boats and ATVs. My story, “Lucky in Death,” pays homage to an unlucky wife of a man who couldn’t resist the goodies in this store.—E. B. Davis
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free.” And so they came, many in the early 20th century, from Russia, Poland, Ireland, Italy, and many other countries around the globe. Large numbers settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, enduring the worst kinds of circumstances, as they struggled to create a better life for themselves and their children. My story, “The Factory,” is dedicated to my grandparents and those other brave souls who made that long and difficult journey. –Harriette Sackler
While taking a shower one morning, for some reason that is completely beyond my conscious understanding, I was inspired to write a tale of revenge. With hair still dripping wet, I sat down at my computer and started typing: “Athena Papas didn’t fall off the platform onto the tracks the way they reported it on the news. She was pushed.” Two hours later, hair almost dry, the first draft of “Next Stop, Foggy Bottom” was done. I think it’s very possible (I say with a wily smile) that I channeled the spirit of Athena’s disgruntled employee.—Karen Cantwell
A few years back, I found myself transplanted to a quiet backwater; so quiet that the biggest excitement was when the kids found snakes sunning on the driveway.
My escape was to write a mystery set in a town with a sumptuously beautiful beach.
But who would my private investigator be?
And Serena showed up. Someone as different from me as possible. She's a statuesque former lingerie model, and I, um, wear underwear. She drives a classic BMW. Me? A minivan with Legos under the seats. She's on the run from her murderous mob connected family, and, well, you get the idea. What did we have in common? We were two transplants trying to make the best of our new lives.
"Keep It Simple" was a delicious escape to write, and I hope it will be a delicious escape for you to read – wherever you are. –Shari Randall
The inspiration for my story, “Alligator is for Shoes,” was my gag reflex. I love to cook and often thumb through old cookbooks for ideas. I’d picked up a favorite, the 1970 edition of CHARLESTON RECEIPTS (inherited from my father), containing quirky recipes handed down through the generations. Giggling over titles like “Bluff Plantation Cooter Pie,” I started reading the chapter, MEATS, even though I’ve been a vegetarian for decades. By the time I noticed the subtitle, “A’ Poil et a’ Plume (Hairy and Feathered),” I was transfixed. However, the titles in this section weren’t so quaint: Squirrel Head Potpie, Corned Tongue, and Ragout of Bear. Ew. Suddenly, I realized I had the perfect ingredients for my story—a chef specializing in game and exotic animal dishes whose assistant goes missing on the eve of Gastronomic Gambles, the most important televised cooking competition of his career. Assign a newbie PI to the case, a princess who’s never cooked a meal in her pampered life, and there will be murder on the menu tonight! –C. Ellett Logan