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” and “Where You Belong”) to almost novella length (“Disarmed”). For more about how I came to write them, see my blog post “One-Bite Mysteries: 2019 Short Stories.”


JUST OUT in the May 2020 issue of Shotgun Honey: “Where You Belong”
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.
[Read the whole story]


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 fans of CJ Verburg’s full-length Edgar Rowdey Cape Cod mysteries Croaked and Zapped.

Click to order “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.

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.