Short stories read in Feb – March 2020

I have been reading a number of short stories recently. It’s often easier to read short stories for concentration or to fit in with life today in work or looking after family. It’s also a good way to introduce a ‘new to me (you)’ author. So thought I would share them with you.

Dark Hearts by S J I Holliday

Dark Hearts is a collection of three short stories, an eBook, which was given free when I signed up to S.J.I. Holliday’s newsletter. For which many thanks. You to can sign up by using the website link below. The three stories are:-

  1. As Black as Snow
  2. The Outhouse
  3. Pretty Woman

These dark stories are all you would expect from this authors pen. Even the short form allows for a twist. It’s all about revenge for an actual or perceived wrongdoing. I think they are all good but, perhaps, the added spookiness of The Outhouse tips the balance in it’s favour. Just as an aside I love that cover.


S.J.I. Holliday

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a scientist, writing coach and the bestselling author of five crime novels, including the Banktoun Trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly), the festive chiller The Deaths of December and her creepy Gothic psychological thriller The Lingering. Her short story Home From Home was published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and shortlisted for the CWA Margery Allingham Prize. Encapsulating her love of travel and claustrophobic settings, her latest novel, Violet, explores toxic friendships and the perils of talking to strangers. All of her novels have been UK ebook number-one bestsellers. Susi was born and raised in Scotland and now divides her time between Edinburgh, London and as many other exciting places that she can fit in.

You can find out all about her: S.J.I.Holliday’s website | or follow her on Twitter Susi Holliday | Author profile and buy her books on AmazonSmileUK | Hive | Orenda – Buy ‘Violet’ | Your local Indie

Burning Dust by Steph Broadribb


Shenia Lynn Lockhart was at the top of her game. She was beautiful, talented and the reigning Dust Creek Rodeo Queen. Then everything she held dear was taken from her. Two years later, a woman with no name arrives in Dust Creek and sneaks behind the scenes at the rodeo. She has revenge on her mind and a target in her sights. There’s going to be blood among the rhinestones…

BURNING DUST was a free, exclusive short story, gift when I joined the CTG Club. For which many thanks. You can join the CTG Club just click on the link to Steph’s website below.

I enjoyed Burning Dust a well written, dark tale of revenge which should be a cautionary tale to anyone who thinks conning and stealing others is the way to ‘make it’ in life! “Two wrongs don’t make a right” as the saying goes but in this short story Shenia doesn’t want to be a victim, wants back what she lost and aims to seek vengeance. I couldn’t help but empathise with her.


Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases. Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California. She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens. Her debut thriller, Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards in two categories and a finalist in the ITW Awards, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts, and the sequel, Deep Blue Trouble and Deep Dirty Truth soon followed suit.

You can find out all about her at Crime thriller girl website | Follow her on Twitter crimethrillergirl | Author profile and buy her books on AmazonSmileUK | Hive | Orenda – buy Deep Dark Night | Your local Indie

Come to Dust – A Danny Bird mini by Derek Farrell

I was unable to save the cover for Come to Dust (you can see it on Derek Farrell’s website and GoodReads)- so I thought the set of badges I won in a competition Derek Farrell ran looked good!

I got Come to Dust – A Danny Bird mini for signing up to the Derek Farrell mailing list, a free short story. For which many thanks. The Danny Bird Series starts with Death of a Diva. I have previously reviewed Death of an Angel. Death of a Sinner is the latest book in the series.

Elaine’s mate Charmaine is accused of murder. Elaine want’s Danny to prove she didn’t do it. She knows Charmaine didn’t do it but can’t say why, not to the police anyway!

Danny Bird landlord of the Marquess of Queensbury public house in Southwark who also has a side-line as a reluctant amateur sleuth feels he has no choice but to help. Along with Caz, Lady Caroline Genevieve Jane de Montfort and only daughter of the thirteenth Earl of Holloway.

With Come to Dust we get a mini investigation which is as good as the full length versions. It has humour, a terrific plot and great characters. There is also a warmth and a charm in this story, as with the series, which I love about Derek Farrell’s writing.


Derek Farrell is the author of ‘Death of a Diva’ ‘Death of a Nobody,’ ‘Death of a Devil’ and ‘Death of an Angel,’ all published by Fahrenheit Press.

The books have been described as “Like The Thin Man meets Will & Grace.” “Like M.C. Beaton on MDMA,” and – by no less an expert than Eric Idle – as “Quite Fun.”

Derek’s jobs have included: Burger dresser, Bank teller, David Bowie’s paperboy, and Investment Banker, and he has lived and worked in New York, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Prague, Dublin, Johannesburg and London.

He’s married to the most English man on the planet and lives in West Sussex. They have no goats chickens children or pets, but they do have every Kylie Minogue record ever made.

You can find out more about Derek Farrell on his Website | Follow him on Twitter | Author profile and buy his books at AmazonSmileUK | Buy from Farenheit Press |


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