Sunday, January 20, 2019

"Bhut Jolokia" by Rob Hart

Medium Short, March 18, 2016

Though this story is available online, I read it in print as part of Take-Out and Other Tales of Culinary Crime, Rob Hart's just-published collection from Polis Books, because the intersection of food and crime fiction has intrigued me since the first Spenser book I read in 1993.

Many of Hart's stories bridge the distance between protagonist and reader with techniques such as present-tense prose. "Bhut Jolokia" combines present tense prose and second person voice, as if the reader is the protagonist being addressed. I found it eerily effective, Hart implicating "you" directly in a peppery plot against egregious office lunch thief Scott Olson.

Hearing Rob read at a Noir at the Bar event in Manhattan moved me to buy his first novel, New Yorked. Don't be surprised if "Bhut Jolokia" makes you hungry for Take-Out.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

"Flight" by Kris Calvin

Unloaded Vol. 2: More Crime Writers Writing Without Guns, ed. Eric Beetner, Down & Out Books, 2018, p. 119–127

From Down & Out's second anthology benefiting States United to Prevent Gun Violence comes the story of Hannah, anxious to catch a flight with baby Sam in tow. As they face each each hurdle of airport security, more of their background is revealed, and while guns don't factor, but what does is horrific in its own right. I rooted for their escape. Well told by child advocate Calvin.