Murder under the Oaks

Bouchercon Anthology 2015

edited by Art Taylor

Nine authors were invited to write stories for the 2015 Bouchercon anthology. The rest of us–over 150 of us–sent in our manuscripts through a blind submission process. I’m thrilled that “Old Friends” was one of the twelve stories selected through this process. It’s an honor to have a story of mine appear in the same volume as stories by J.L. Abramo, J.D. Allen, Lori Armstrong, Rob Brunet, P.A. De Voe, Sean Doolittle, Tom Franklin, Toni Goodyear, Kristin Kisska, Robert Lopresti, Robert Mangeot, Margaret Maron, Kathleen Mix, Britni Patterson, Karen Pullen, Ron Rash, Karen E. Salyer, Sarah Shaber, Zoë Sharp,  and Graham Wynd. To make everything perfect, the anthology is edited by my good friend Art Taylor. (Yes, he edited my story, and we’re still friends.)

In “Old Friends,” Vince and Ken meet at a sidewalk café to enjoy lunch and to play five rounds of Truth or Dare, a game they’ve indulged in since middle school. They’re in their thirties now but still take the game completely seriously–challenging each other, trying to outdo each other, sometimes tormenting each other. This time, as the game moves on from round to round, it becomes clear something’s going on beneath the surface.  The demands for truth seem pointed; do the dares have an unstated purpose? Sometimes, when old friends get together, it’s not just to share memories about old times.

Forthcoming from Down & Out Books, October 2015

Available in paperback form at Bouchercon or from the publisher

Book categories: Fiction