Sometimes the light is dulled, and the clouds lead you to the water, fluid, but reflective …
Just when I was ready to really slow down on the short stories and up the time on the plays, I read this great review, and run into a woman in town that I know who says she loved every story in my collection … on the same day! Hmm … a universal message? Well, a welcomed compliment, for sure.
Confetti: A Collection of Cozy Crimes By Patricia L. Morin
by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of this book, along with a link to purchase it where a portion goes to help support KRL and indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy.
Summer is the time for travel, but sadly not everyone has the privilege of whisking off across the country and escaping everyday life. That’s why we’re grateful for this anthology of nine short stories that take readers to Oahu, Venice Beach, and—well, New Jersey. Murder is, of course, involved, but it’s a footnote in these highly entertaining and often very funny short tales.
Morin makes crime a family affair in her first two delightful tales. Absolutely charming is “Bark Mitzvah Murder in Mizpah,” in which an incredibly diverse group of New Jersey partygoers celebrate the Jewish rite of passage for a poodle. Too bad it ends with a poisoning, but that’s just as much fun as the first story in this anthology, “Pizza Man Murder.”
The author twists it up with “Psychic Spies,” which follows a 1979 program training agents to use unconventional methods. Humor is back in “Harry and Penny,” as two senior sibling private investigators wield their unique form of communication to foil a scheme that could have forced an early retirement.
My two favorite stories are “A Hui Hou Kakou” and “Love Shack,” which take place on the island of Oahu and feature two very different interpretations of love. The first is a haunting narration by a nearly drowned young woman who struggles to repair her memory, while the latter is a far lighter tale of a relationship gone awry.
The light-hearted tone of these stories definitely lives up to its cozy title, but the final entry also displays a deeper sentiment that shows off the author’s deft hand with character development. “The Ferry” is nearly a novella of a woman following her sister’s final wish and learning far more than she ever expected.
Confetti is a tightly written anthology, and its length is a sign of exemplary editing ensuring that each entry is more than strong enough to stand on its own.