The Barefoot Stiff, a Maggie Sullivan short story
M. Ruth Myers
16 pages $.99 Kindle
Looks like the scrappy female PI is in trouble again. A man “who looked large enough for a prize fighter through the shoulders” busts into her office demanding something. She pleads ignorance. “Keep lying,” the hulking stranger says, “and I’ll make you sorry, toots.”
Toots, is depression-era gumshoe Maggie Sullivan, creation of Shamus Award-winning author M. Ruth Myers. Sullivan makes her living exploring dark alleys, getting beat up and cracking wise as well as any male detective of the literary era.
Homicide lieutenant Freeze is questioning Sullivan about the case she’s working on:
Two assistants who trailed Freeze everywhere leaned against the wall. One was taking notes while his pal memorized my legs.
Snappy dialog, both internal and external, period language and settings, plus characters that seem to have walked right out of a 1940s noir film are some of the things to love about the Maggie Sullivan series.
In this short story, it’s the action and dialog that keep you turning pages. Sullivan refuses a $10 retainer that would have “put gas in my car for a year and then some.” She soon tries to reverse the decision and that’s when the trouble starts.
There’s plenty of seedy atmosphere to soak up as the story progresses and lots of great dialog I won’t quote further so you can enjoy it the way Myers intended. With this short introduction to Maggie Sullivan, you’ll want to follow up with a novel. And then another.