Nostalgia City Mysteries

Mark S. Bacon

Tag Archives: short stories

Two freebies today in Nostalgia City


This week’s installment features two giveaways—of sorts. First, I’m giving away a signed copy of Death in Nostalgia City. All you have to do is register on Here’s a link to the contest:

The deadline is midnight, Saturday, Oct. 18.

The second gift today is a 100-word flash fiction story from my ebook (available on Amazon, etc.), Cops, Crooks & Other Stories in 100 Words.

 Lionel’s New Game

 Gazing across the resort pool, nattily dressed Lionel spotted a familiar face. “Say Jake, didn’t I hear bad news about you last year?”

“No big deal. So, what con are you running in this ritzy place? You doing your old investment scheme or romancing some rich widow?”

“Alas, nothing with finesse. I’m working with a bellman. We go through rooms when guests are gone.  “Sad, huh? What do you think?”

“I think you’re going to do jail time.”

“What? Wait! I remember. You were caught!

“Yup. Red-handed. This very hotel. So I agreed–reluctantly mind you–to work for them.”

Flash fiction news

Short Mystery Fiction Society

If you’re interested in flash fiction mystery stories, crime/mystery short stories or even tales a bit longer, you ought to check out the Short Mystery Fiction Society website.  It can be a portal to enjoying some of the best short crime fiction today.

The SMFS is made up of writers and mystery fans who regularly exchange comments, via email, on all topics related to the genre.  Much of it centers on the craft of writing mysteries along with comments on recently published stories.

Each year the organization recognizes the best short mystery fiction through its Derringer Awards.  Categories include flash fiction (up to 1,000) words, short stories, long stories and novelettes.  While the winning stories are not usually posted on the site, this is a great place to find the names of talented authors you can follow.Short mystery soc

For example, last year Bill Pronzini earned the Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer for Lifetime Achievement.  He’s collected numerous Edgar Award nominations and many nominations for the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America including one for Cat’s Paw for which he won the Shamus.  He’s the author or co-author of ten short story collections.

Here are two other names you might want to follow: Allan Leverone and Nicola Kennington.   The former is a short story writer and author of five novels, the latter has a skimpy web presence, but both were nominated for Derringers this year in the flash fiction category and both of their  intense, hard-boiled (is that redundant?) stories are available online through links on the SMFS site.   Both great reads.

Flash fiction contest winners selected

The winning stories in author Vanessa Shields’ Mystery Flash Fiction Contest have been selected and the writers’ names will be posted soon.  Ms. Shields and I reviewed all the entries (I judged the stories blind, not knowing the author names), debated their relative merits (or not) and agreed on the top stories.   We hope to make this an annual contest, so spread the word.

Mysteries and Murder is top seller

Last month Mysteries and Murder, my small collection of mystery flash fiction stories, made the top ten weekly sales list with Ether Books of the UK.  M&M art  dker bk  2377 copyThanks to all who downloaded the book.   Like all the Ether books, it’s designed to be read on your smart phone.  Simply download the Ether app and you’re ready to go.


Short Mystery Fiction Society

Bill Pronzini

Derringer flash fiction winners

Vanessa Shields

Ether Books

New flash fiction

Quiet, editing in progress

Recently, blogger/writer Vanessa Shields ran an interview with me about flash fiction, where it came from, who writes it, etc.  After the interview, she asked if I would edit a mystery flash fiction of hers.

She sent me the flash fiction and we exchanged emails over a week working on the story.  It started out at 287 words and we pared it down a bit.  Visit Vanessa’s blog and see inside flash fiction editing.

Lawrence Block’s Hit Man

Next time, visit this space for a review of Lawrence Block’s,  Hit Man, a collection of short stories about John Keller, an unassuming guy who makes his living killing people.

And now for something completely different, here’s the latest, new flash fiction offering.

Monty Is a Thief

Seated in the subway, Monty eyes a wallet. It looks fat, but the guy’s clothes are threadbare, his expression disconsolate. Instead of entertaining pity, Monty focuses on the wallet. Stealing is what he does.

Later, he leafs through his take: driver’s license, money, ID cards, newspaper obituary. The young woman pictured in the obit has the same last name as the wallet’s owner. A folded VA letter says the recipient’s PTSD is responsible for his migraines and memory loss.

Monty pauses and glances at his victim’s address. Then he pockets the cash and dumps the wallet. Monty is a thief.



Vanessa Shields’s Blog


%d bloggers like this: