Thursday, March 31, 2011


Death by Killing is now open for submissions.

So next time you read an awesome story and want to tell the world about it, you can! (Or, um, at least you can tell the people who read this blog.) Write up a little something and send it to

Here's what I'm looking for:

-- Reviews of short fiction. This means short stories, flash, micro, novellas, novelettes, and short story collections are all welcome. Pretty much anything except for full-length novels.

-- The story must be by someone else.

-- All genres are welcome.

-- No specific word count. Fifty words is cool. A few hundred is cool. If you go over 1,000, be sure that it's really interesting stuff.

-- Don't worry about writing your most sparkling prose. The purpose of this site is simply to get the word out about great stories and promote writers who deserve to be heard.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

DBK in Ellery Queen!

Bill Crider has some very nice things to say about Death by Killing in his Blog Bytes column in the latest edition of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. He mentioned the Top 5 of 2010 series and said that "if you're looking to discover some new writers or some new short fiction, this would be a great place to start." Thanks, Bill!

Anyways, Mr. Crider's column has inspired me to overhaul the blog. Yep, making some changes that I think will be for the better.

Be sure to check back in a few days!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Flash Friday!

Two radical (yep, bringing that back) flash stories that came out recently:

A bit of LA noir in Cold Storage by Michael Solender at Flash Fiction Offensive. That annoying guy who rents the storage space next to you? He's going down!

And from a horror site I've been getting into lately, Die, Baby, Die by Grant Wamack at The New Flesh. This piece oozes with creepiness and believable terror.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

I was disappointed to discover that Pow Fast Flash Fiction has gone under. I just found out about this excellent, cross-genre site late last year when Sandra Seamans named a piece from there in her top five and now they're closing shop. Guess that's the way of the zines, they come and they go.

However, they will be keeping up their archives. A couple of stories I really dug there were Dog Fight by Aaron M. Wilson--an original, bizarre and brutal horror/spec fic piece--and Duke's Av's by Jim Bronyaur, which comes with the lesson that you should never underestimate the power of a pair of sunglasses.

Anyways, head over there and have a look around. If you like your fiction imaginative and bite-sized, Pow Fast is bound to have a piece you'll enjoy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Richard Godwin's dark thriller, Apostle Rising, is one helluva a ride, with all the violence and insanity found in his short works. Unlike his short stuff, this one is mainly from the perspective of the cops rather than the criminals.

Inspector Frank Castle's career has been defined by his inability to solve a string of murders two decades ago. When a new serial killer is on the loose showing clear similarities to the first, Castle  quickly becomes obsessed. And as nemesis/prime suspect/religious nut Karl Black mercilessly taunts him, Castle becomes increasingly pathetic and hits the bottle hard.

As you might expect, this ain't your granddaddy's police procedural. With plenty of gore and a relentless pace, you'll find yourself compulsively moving on to the next chapter every time. And Godwin's got a phenomenal twist in store that I doubt you'll see coming.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thar Be Stories!

First up is a scorcher from Jason Duke at Spinetingler Magazine, Less Than Living. A low-level scam artist whose self-loathing simply knows no bounds. Duke's use of repetition to create this character's bleak world is genius, and the ending is unexpected and devastating.

The new Dark Valentine Magazine is out. Paul D. Brazill's werewolf detective is back for a another fun, bizarre ride in La Fee Verte. In that same issue, Matthew C. Funk introduces the horrifying and heroic Swamp to New Orleans. Katherine Tomlinson has a tight, funny and twisted tale with Easter Dinner.

Over at Title Fights, Eric Beetner has a cool gangster-and-his-loser-cousin story with Pat.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Nod at The NOT

I'm over at Michael Solender's blog, Not From Here, Are You?, with a micro piece, The Silent Type.

It features oddball character The Nod and his inability to interact with people.


Saturday, March 5, 2011


You can find the finalists here. From there you can join the Short Mystery Fiction Society and cast your vote. (Go to the "How to Cast Your Vote" link on the left side of the page.)

It's great to see the online community represented in every category (except the novelettes). In fact, the short-short category is all online!

I'm excited about this because I think a lot of the best, most vital crime writing is happening on the internet. Just read those five short-shorts--each one is a gem.

And a shout out to friends of the blog who made the cut, Jane Hammons, Jack Bates, and Michael Solender (who has two stories!). 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Dave White's got seven very satisfying Jackson Donne stories in his new collection from Needle Publishing.

White reminds me a lot of Robert B. Parker. Both have a gift for dialogue and write with effortless confidence. Both possess a strong sense of setting--White's New Jersey and Parker's Boston. Both have created a memorable, likable, and flawed private investigator. One significant difference between Spenser and Donne is that Donne is still figuring out how to be a PI, which lends itself to different and more realistic conflicts.

In a recent post at Paul Brazill's blog, White said he's more interested in the PI character than in whodunit puzzles. Instead, White constructs plots that force Donne to make difficult choices and split his loyalties. The results are natural, engaging plots that are driven by the characters.

We see Donne evolve in this collection, as the first five stories are in chronological order with the last two filling in Donne's backstory. In fact, this read more like a novel for me. Although there wasn't a single arc running through the stories, I was interested to find out would happen with Donne, which kept the pages turning.

Every story in here is rock solid. I think Closure is a good representation of White's work. In this story, Donne agrees to provide protection for a man who is trying to get information about his wife who died in 9-11. The case takes an unexpected turn and Donne is forced to act. This story won a Derringer and for good reason. It feels complete.