Saturday, July 29, 2017

Honest Reviews of The Prison Compendium and The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories

Amazon typically does not allow authors to review anthologies to which they have contributed. With that in mind, here are honest reviews for two more collections that feature my work.

Publisher: EMP Publishing
Editors: Jennifer Word and Kimberly King
Number of stories: 33
Pages: 285
Price: $5.99 Kindle, $14.95 for paperback.
Theme: prison-themed stories, mostly mystery and horror
My story included: a reprint of Solitary Man, in which a penitentiary guard confesses to his comatose son the dark secrets of a famous author held in solitary confinement.

My favorites were: "End A Days" by Kristin Dearborn, "The Flea Jar" by Layla Cummins, "Second Chance" by Tom Larsen, "Swing A Sparrow on a String" by Ken Goldman.

I give it an A-. Only a couple stories that didn't grab me, and a wide variety of interpretations of the theme. You can order a copy here.

Title: The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories
Publisher: Robinson
Editor: Maxim Jakubowski
Number of stories: 37
Pages: 562
Price: $6.99 Kindle, $14.99 for the paperback.
Theme: Jack the Ripper stories

My story included: The Monster's Leather Apron, in which the man responsible for the murders attributed to Jack the Ripper escapes England and resurfaces a decade later in Alaska during the Gold Rush. A fever, a betrayal, and a dash of the supernatural combine to push Edward (aka Jack) to his breaking point.

This is a hefty volume and it took me a long time to finish. I'd read a story here and there, because 37 different interpretations of Jack the Ripper's crimes seemed like it would get stale. (They don't actually.) I'm glad I paced myself because each story really shines. There were only a couple I didn't care for, and one in particular was written in an experimental style that made it tough for me to understand. Most, however, were good to great.

My favorites were numerous. With so many great interpretations, it's difficult to select even a handful. Start with the always amazing Steve Rasnic Tem's Monkeys for a Ripper story unlike any other! I also thoroughly enjoyed the tales by Martin Edwards, Paul Freeman, Nic Martin, K.G. Anderson, William Meikle, Brett McBean and David Bishop, among others.

Rating: A
Honored to be included in such a respected series (The Mammoth Book of...) You can --and should-- order a copy here.


Ant Farm Necropolis is HERE!

Eighteen macabre stories and two poems by Adrian Ludens. 

Clive wants to show you around his home, but watch out; it harbors more than just recollections from his bizarre past in "Four Houses Down." 

Those who want insight into Poe's descent into madness prior to his death should pay close attention to "Reynolds' Tale." 

The Idea Man is a retired professional killer who employs a novel method for making the world a better place in "Slay it Forward." 

Jack the Ripper brings mayhem and murder to Alaska during the Gold Rush in "The Monster's Leather Apron." 

Randle has a job he loathes; erasing people from existence in "Death Guiding 350 Horses." 

These characters and many more are waiting inside this new collection from the author of When Bedbugs Bite and Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles.