Book Review: Crime Travel edited by Barb Goffman @BarbGoffman

Crime Travel
Edited by Barb Goffman
Wildside Press, December 2019
ISBN 978-1-4794-4838-8
Trade Paperback

A collection of fifteen short stories which feature crimes committed, prevented, or solved by time travel. The writing is uniformly excellent and the stories give way to flights of imagination, but always grounded in the reality of a crime. Some of the time travel is accomplished by time machine, some by supernatural methods, and some by original and surprising methods.

In Cathy Wiley’s “And Then There Were Paradoxes,” two detectives travel back in time to consult Agatha Christie on a puzzling locked room murder.

A boy discovers how his parents died in an accident ten years earlier, and wonders if there is any way to prevent their deaths in “Alex’s Choice,” by Barb Goffman.

Heidi Hunter’s story, “No Honor Among Thieves,” features a crook who gets an assist from time travel to thwart her partner, and to avoid sharing the spoils of their treasure hunt.

In “Living on Borrowed Time,” Melissa H. Blaine’s protagonist discovers a couple of teenage time travelers who are visiting all the crime sites of the infamous Fifty-State Stabber, and she realizes she will become one of the victims. Is there a way to foil her fate?

Fans of mystery short stories will find this an enjoyable collection of unusual and thought-provoking time travel tales.

Reviewed by Susan Belsky, December 2019.

Book Review: Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays ed. by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman, and Marcia Talley

Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays
Edited by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman, and Marcia Talley
Wildside Press LLC, June 2014
ISBN 978-1-4794-0309-7
Trade Paperback

As Rhys Bowen says in her introduction to this collection of holiday short stories, “Who hasn’t wanted to commit a murder at a family holiday celebration?” If these fourteen stories are any indication, I think she must be right.

When I read the book’s title, Homicidal Holidays brought Christmas to my mind, but come to find out, Halloween is actually more popular⏤at least when it comes to crime.

Even “Talk Like A Pirate Day” is represented in the collection. Cathy Wiley has penned a clever little mystery that asks the question, did the pirate reenactor who stepped off a pier in the midst of a staged sword fight commit suicide, or was he murdered? “Dead Men Tell No Tales”–or do they?

You might not think Groundhog’s Day a subject for criminal activity, until a man becomes so bedeviled by his town’s resident groundhog’s always accurate weather predictions, that he is moved to kidnap Missisquoi Moe. This fine tale is by Barb Goffman.

In addition to the above authors, look for stories by Rosemary and Larry Mild, E.B.Davis, Shaun Taylor Bevins, Art Taylor,Shari Randall, Meg Opperman, Carla Coupe, Timothy Bentler-Jungr, Linda Lombardi, Debbi Mack, Clyde Linsley and Donna Andrews.

Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day all come in for rousing good stories, and with five Halloween and four Christmas stories, you’re in for a few hours of good fun.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, January 2018.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder, Four Furlongs and Hometown Homicide.