A short story a day review

Tag: Patti Abbott

The Maltese Tater Tot by Pat Dennis

by Barb Goffman


From Pat Dennis’ collection Hotdish To Die For (Penury Press, 2000).

A rich, older man marries a much-younger woman and treasures her with gifts (and an allowance). Suddenly, her jewelry starts going missing, one piece at a time. The husband suspects the wife is up to something and hires a P.I. to figure things out.

And this review marks my end of this challenge. 300 stories officially read in 2012. When it started I hoped to actually read a story a day for a year. That was the exact challenge. That morphed into: Could I read 366 stories in the year, knowing that some days I might not get to read any, but on other days, I could read several? My goal kept changing as I had more non-short-story days than expected: First, 350 stories. Then 325. And now, finally, 300, which I think is a respectable finish.

I should add that I probably read nearly 350 short stories this year, but I didn’t write about them all, which was part of the challenge. If I hated a story, I may not have written about it. If I didn’t finish a story, I didn’t write about it. If I read an unpublished story (I’m a co-editor of the Chesapeake Crimes anthology series), I didn’t write about it. Knowing this makes me feel even better about my 300.

Because of this challenge, I read a lot of authors this year I had never read before, some of whom I’m particularly excited about and will seek out more of their work. These authors include Steve Liskow, Pat Dennis (her Puck stories are so good), David Dean, and Lynne Heitman.

This challenge also gave me the opportunity to read a lot more stories by John Floyd, one of my favorite short-story authors. If you haven’t read him yet, you’re  missing out.

Finally, having read more short stories this year than ever before, especially in such a concentrated period, enabled me to better understand what works in a story and what doesn’t (at least for me). I hope my own writing has improved as a result.

I’ve enjoyed sharing these pages with my fellow readers, especially Katherine Tomlinson and Patti Abbott, who both are on track to hit 366 stories by December 31st. Way to go, ladies! A hat tip to Brian Lindenmuth of Spinetingler for setting up this challenge last December. It’s been a pleasure.

“Frank, Jr.” by Don Lafferty

by kattomic

“Frank Jr.” by Don Lafferty


Story 265/366

This was written in response to a fiction challenge issued by Patti Abbott. It’s a little bit of low-life noir in a neat little package. You can read it on Lafferty’s blog here.

See you tomorrow!

“Acceptance” by Cormac Brown

by kattomic

“Acceptance”: by Cormac Brown


Story 236/366

This is probably my favorite story by Cormac, one of the many great stories in the collection Discount Noir, co-edited by Patti Abbott and Steve Weddle. “Acceptance” uses the stages of grief as a point of departure and has a nice little sting at the end.

See you tomorrow!

“Repeat Offenders” by Sandra Seamans

by kattomic

“Repeat Offenders” by Sandra Seamans


Story 148/366

A ghost hunter walks into a bar and what follows is no joke.

If I’m not mistaken, “Repeat Offenders” was sparked by a story prompt on Patti Abbott’s blog. “Sweet Dreams” had to be playing when a red-haired woman in an electric blue dress walked into a room. You can read the story in Cold Rifts, Seaman’s debut collection, which is available free on Amazon for the rest of Sunday and only $2.99 after.

See you tomorrow!

“The Things We Do For Love” by Patti Abbott

by kattomic

“The Things We Do For Love” by Patti Abbott


Story 104/366

When it comes to Patti Abbott’s short fiction, it’s hard to pick just one story to single out. In the last year I’ve read her collection (Monkey Justice), her stories on Spinetingler and Beat to a Pulp, and A Twist of Noir and in the Grimm Tales collection. She is just all over the place spreading the awesome. And then there’s this story which rocks the second person POV in a perverse tale of kinky love.  You can read this story at Shotgun Honey. You can read her “Dancing with Myself”  interview with herself on Nigel Bird’s Sea Minor blog here.

See you tomorrow!

Father’s Day by Patti Abbott

by Barb Goffman

25/366  From the June 14, 2011 issue of Spinetingler Magazine. Can be found here: http://www.spinetinglermag.com/2011/06/14/fiction-fathers-day-by-patricia-abbott/

I read a lot of crime fiction, heck, mainly all crime fiction. And this story is about two crimes. One a robbery, which plays a small part in the story. But the other is the crime of loss, of the effects of impatience, of the roads not taken. It shows how one day, out of nowhere, something can happen to make a once-acceptable existence suddenly feel far less so, and can leave a satisfied person suddenly wanting more.

“Tongues” by Patti Abbott

by bloodandtacos

From MONKEY JUSTICE: STORIES by Patti Abbott, published in 2011.

While I love the completeness of the story and the brevity in which it’s told, it was the attention to detail that really brought this story home for me.

For example, take a look at this sentence:

“Was Karen born knowing ‘tongues’ or did it come to her like a taste for artichokes came to my father months after he returned from Korea?”

That sentence is a story in itself. A sentence that not only reveals information about the narrator, but has such unique detail that we can’t accept it as anything but ‘truth.’

I always feel like I’m cheating when I choose a shorter story, but my schedule is bananas this week. When I find the time, I definitely will be diving into some of the longer stories in this anthology.


The Perfect Day by Patti Abbott

by Brian Lindenmuth

The Perfect Day by Patti Abbott.

Patti continues to be one of my favorite short story writers. The devil is in the details for this family vacation. Little things go wrong and build to the terror of **shudders** a blue Torino.