Short Stories

Sometimes you’re hungry for a full multi-course mystery, and sometimes you’re just peckish enough for an aperitif. These four “short stories” range from two-page flash fiction (“Birdbrain,” in the anthology Fault Lines) to almost novella length (“Disarmed,” free on Apple BooksGoogle Play, KoboNook/Barnes & Noble, or Scribd — 99 cents on Kindle).

For more about how I came to write them, see my blog post “One-Bite Mysteries: 2019 Short Stories.”

Coming soon:  Scandal at the Savoy: The Bride of Baker Street , sequel to
Scandal at the Savoy: The Monocle Murder in OCTOBER 2021 Mystery Magazine (formerly Mystery Weekly)
Narrated by Dr. John Watson and starring Sherlock Holmes!

Also FREE:   “Where You Belong” in the May 2020 issue of Shotgun Honey

My heart thumps louder than the Wrong Note’s jukebox when he ambles up to the bar. Who is that? He looks like a beat-up old rodeo cowboy that’s been kicked to hell and back, grinning all the way.



Is the quaint seaside town of Quansett a sanctuary or a death trap? When an alarming discovery at Leo’s Back End points to murder, the locals’ favorite hangout becomes a crime scene. Sometimes it takes a village to catch a killer — led by reclusive artist/author Edgar Rowdey and spiky-haired Boston refugee Lydia Vivaldi.

“Disarmed: an Edgar Rowdey Cape Cod Story” is a delightfully unsettling hors d’oeuvre for anyone who’s curious about (or a fan of) CJ Verburg’s traditional noir-cozy Edgar Rowdey Cape Cod mystery novels Croaked and Zapped.

Click to download “Disarmed” FREE from Apple Books, Google Play, Kobo, Nook/Barnes & Noble, or Scribd,
or check your favorite e-bookshop.


“Birdbrain” was a finalist for the 2020 Derringer Award for Flash Fiction.

It’s published in Fault lines: Stories by Northern California Crime Writers, edited by Margaret Lucke.

A jewelers’ convention. Three ambitious buddies with a taste for diamonds. A curious parrot. What could possibly go wrong?

Paperback $14.99, e-book $3.99.
Buy Fault Lines at your favorite bookstore or order it from Amazon/Kindle.



“Berta, I’m on my way to the welcoming reception. Talk later?”

Berta Rathbun is the surviving partner of Richard Rathbun, my literary agent and friend for thirty years. Age has not withered her; on the contrary. Her hair, which once coiled at the base of her neck like a sleeping mink, now spikes like a startled porcupine. Her smoker’s rasp has become a jackhammer. “Where’s that book proposal you promised me, Christopher?”

“Peccata Mundy” appears in Seascape: Best New England Crime Stories 2019.
Edited by Verena Rose, Harriette Sackler, & Shawn Reilly Simmons, Level Best Books.
Paperback $16.95, e-book $5.99.
Buy Seascape from your favorite bookstore or order it from Amazon/Kindle.