Earl Staggs earned all Five Star reviews for his novels MEMORY OF A MURDER and JUSTIFIED ACTION and has twice received a Derringer Award for Best Short Story of the Year. He served as Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Magazine, as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars.
He invites any comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
He also invites you to visit his blog site at http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com
Tall Chambers has just prevented a terrorist attack when he gets a call from the White House. What the President wants him to do next may not be possible but Tall has to try. Innocent lives are at stake. A Mini Novel in 5 chapters.
When someone close to him is murdered, former Special Services officer Tall Chambers calls upon his skills and experience to find the killer. His pursuit becomes more complicated when he learns he is also marked for death and he must use all his wits and weapons to stay alive long enough to set things right.
I’ve read Barry Ergang’s work for a number of years and I’ve never been disappointed. He takes you into the minds and hearts of his characters and makes you feel what they’re feeling as well as any writer I know. In his short story “Slow and Quiet, Drift Away,” he does exactly that in less than 900 words. How would it feel to lie dying? What would run through your mind? I'd give this more than five stars if I could.
Criminalities: Three Short Crime Stories and an Essay
by Barry Ergang
Reviewed by Earl Staggs
The first story is”Jewel of Denial,” a gem originally published in the June 2005 issue of Mysterical-E.
Lainie Truscott is dismayed when guests at her bed and breakfast are robbed of cash and jewelry during the night. Lainie follows a hunch and takes a short trip to see if she's right. When she arrives at her destination, one surprising twist after another will leave you grinning, nodding your head, and thinking, “Well done, Mr. Ergang.”
Next up is “Vigilante,” which received a Derringer Award in 2007 for Best Story of the Year. Weissman is alone in a dark alley with a militant, tattooed skinhead. Their vast difference of opinion about the Holocaust is settled in the only appropriate manner.
The third story, “Brianna’s Way,” was an Editor’s Choice when it appeared in Flash Bang Mysteries Magazine. When his ex-wife's lawyer wants to talk to him, Rutledge agrees to the meeting out of curiosity. Brianna is accused of killing her second husband, the man she dumped him for. What does the woman who ruined his life want from him?
In the essay “Impossible Pleasures,” Mr. Ergang tells how in his youth, he became an “unregenerate, unapologetic fan of the mystery genre,” and discusses classic writers and stories. He was drawn in particular to the “locked door” or impossible crime” tales. These are the stories in which a crime is committed in a space such as a locked room with no way for the criminal to get in or out without being seen. If you're a fan of this type of story, you'll learn which authors, past and present, to look for.
For an excellent example of a locked room mystery, I recommend reading “The Play of Light and Shadow,” one of many published stories by Barry Ergang. You'll find it at: