Thursday, 29 November 2018

LISA DOUGLASS (ed.) - SWITCHBLADE: STILETTO HEELED (2018)


Synopsis/blurb......

It’s been said that hardboiled noir is a boys club. Well, not anymore. Switchblade: Stiletto Heeled is the ultimate women of noir anthology. Thirteen dire and gritty tales from some of the most prominent women writing in the noir genre today. Featuring: Sarah M. Chen, Lissa Marie Redmond, Cindy Rosmus, Susan Cornford, Tawny Pike, E.F. Sweetman, Bethany Maines, Carmen Jaramillo, Serena Jayne, Charlotte Platt, Sarah Jilek, Susan Kuchinskas, and Ann Aptaker. Edited by Lisa Douglass. These aren’t police procedurals or cozy murder mysteries. It’s all hard-as-they-come, no luck tales, featuring all women protagonists, and penned by all women authors. It’s about time.


In keeping with the all-female reading theme for November, this Switchblade anthology was a perfect fit and a bit of a change up from the longer works I'd been reading in the month.

In chronological order we had....


Editor’s Note

QUICK & DIRTY FLASH

Cindy RosmusDishes, Dishes, Dishes - a restaurant kitchen, a mass of dirty pots and pans, some co-workers arguing and a big knife that ain't getting used for chopping vegetables ...

Ann AptakerRing, Buzz - a persistent phone call (or two), a gun, a decision, some chocolate ice cream and a reassessment of our options, the bloody phone again...

Susan KuchinskasConcrete Blonde - some sisterly love (not), a shakedown, an orgasm, a knife... 

MICRO FLASH

Susan CornfordA Shot at Being Ordinary - referencing a female serial killer...

SHARP & DEADLY FICTION

Tawny PikeDeadly Dance in Jacksonino County - the matriarch, her two sons, a criminal enterprise - a family concern, some dodgy cops that have to go, a gun and knife fight and one son launching a hostile takeover.....

Charlotte PlattStrong-armed and Dangerous - an old lady with chops, going out on her own terms....

Sarah JilekThe Amazing Dancing Pig - a children's birthday party, a tale about a tail, and some bloody payback...

Sarah M. Chen - Influencers - a pushy mother, dreaming of fame, fortune, celebrity and money through her kids, one dies, the other one better step up ......

Bethany MainesMayhem & Mahalo - card games, a rip-off, a violent confrontation and a big sister to make it alright....

Serena JayneCrazy Eights - a tale of betrayal in Vegas, an unreliable boyfriend ...

Carmen JaramilloA Sinner at the Hands of an Angry God - a Black Metal past, a new life, a blackmail threat and a problem solved....

E.F. Sweetman - Mouthbreather - the insurance game, a family business, a long-term plan, an idiot son, one humiliation too many, a fatal consequence....

Lissa Marie Redmond - Hardball - a new job, a set-up, an accommodation and a turning of the tables with some shiny recompense....


I really liked this collection and blasted through it in just over a day. No two stories the same...... knives, guns, cards, drugs, Vegas, sex, amputation, a restaurant, celebrity, insurance offices, an alley, an apartment and a whole bunch of women that ain't getting pushed around and who mostly come up smelling of roses.
Lisa Douglass (editor)

Of the contributors I've heard of more than a few and may have sampled their work at various on-line short fiction sites. Sarah M. Chen (Cleaning Up Finn) is the only contributor I've read at length.

Nothing sucked - all were enjoyed. Personal favourites were Charlotte Platt's Strong-armed and Dangerous and E.F.Sweetman's Mouthbreather, but they were all very good.

4.5 from 5

Read in November, 2018
Published - 2018
Page count - 176
Source - purchased copy
Format - kindle






7 comments:

  1. Looks like a good collection, Col. Sometimes those short story anthologies are a great way to 'meet' writers and see what you think of their work. Glad you enjoyed this.

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    1. I've a few more names to look out for in the future after reading this collection Margot

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  2. with my prejudice against short stories, I am more likely to follow up if you read something longer by any of these intriguing-sounding noir females...

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    1. Fair enough, you either like the format or you don't.

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  3. Thanks for the blog.These Stiletto Switchblades are very popular in today's day and age.

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