Death Among Us

An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories

Book Cover: Death Among Us

Who knew death could be so eclectic?

Relish this mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up of short stories.

Murder and mystery have been the staple of literature and films for years. This anthology of short stories will thrill and entertain you. Some will also make you laugh out loud. Others will stop and make you think.

Think of this murder mystery short story anthology as a book version of appetizers or starters, hors d'oeuvre, meze, or antipasti. It can be read as fillers between books or, as is the case in some countries, as a bookish meze - in its own right.

There’s murder mystery styles and locations to suit all tastes: detective fiction, serial killers, scifi, histfic, England, Los Angeles, San Francisco, The Great Lakes, Las Vegas, the Nevada desert, Mexico and more in an exquisite exposition of the art of short story telling.

These stories come from an international cast of ten authors; some with bestselling books, others are emerging or new talents. Their roots, cultures, and life experiences are as diverse as their writing styles.

But one thing binds them together: they know how to tell a story.

The ten authors who have contributed to the anthology are:

Stephen Bentley
Greg Alldredge
Kelly Artieri
Robbie Cheadle
Michael Spinelli
L. Lee Kane
Kay Castaneda
Aly Locatelli
Justin Bauer
Posthumously by 'G'

The stories include the 2019 SIA Award-Winning Murder Mystery Short Story 'The Rose Slayer' by Stephen Bentley.

Each author introduces his or her stories and the theme that lays behind them. By the time you finish the book, you will agree the result is a mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up.

Get it now.

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Publisher: Kydala Inc
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Excerpt:
Reviews:Mae Clair on Amazon wrote:

5.0 out of 5 stars Murder Most Foul
Reviewed in the United States on July 11, 2019
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I’m a mystery/suspense fan so these stories hit all the right notes for me. The collection is varied with several authors contributing multiple tales to the collection. Read one or two at a time or gobble several back to back. The authors are great at transporting you into twisted worlds of murder most foul. You’re bound to find your personal favorites, but there are several that really stood out for me.

I was mesmerized by the historic angle Robbie Cheadle used in her all of her tales that address such unusual characters as chimney sweeps in Victorian England and monks, among others. She did an exceptional job of dropping her readers into the grimy period of the Industrial Revolution and other equally intriguing settings. Red Solo Cup by by Kelly Artieri has two couples undertaking a day boating. A twisty little tale with a cool title and an unexpected ending. She also does a great job with That's What Best Friends Do which has a kick-butt ending, The slightly horror jive of Monitaur by Michael Spinelli kept me enthralled ,and he hit a home run with No Man’s Land involving a dangerous fugitive. The dialogue is spot on.

All the authors are to be commended for such a great collection. Enjoy!

James J. Cudney IV (Jay) VINE VOICE on Amazon wrote:

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection
Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
My favorite book genre is mysteries. With so many wonderful authors and series, it's often difficult to decide what to read next, especially when you're looking to expand your horizons with something new. That's often why I'll turn to an anthology of short stories, as collections allow you to sample a dozen or so writers who hold a vast array of experiences and styles. This month, I took a chance on one called 'Death Among Us,' published in July of 2019 and edited by Stephen Bentley. In this fantastic collection, readers are exposed to ~10 authors who have each contributed 3 stories. What's even better is that the three stories are generally connected to one another, so it's almost like reading a mini novella several times over.

Prior to each author's stories, there's a lively and informative intro about what readers are getting themselves into. The writer will tell us if the stories are connected by the same character or a similar murder plot, a continuation of the previous tale but with a twist, or something even more dastardly and thrilling. I enjoyed this aspect of the anthology, as often in these types of books, each author only has a single story. With three, we get a better feel for their voice, style, and tone. The collection kicks off with the award-winning editor's 'The Rose Slayer' stories, where homicide cops trace a killer who leaves behind a calling card. It spoke to me for many reasons, but to watch the transition from the first to the second and the last story, I felt like I could understand the motivation and operating procedures / boundaries of the heroes (and possibly the serial killer too!).

Another favorite is Robbie Cheadle, an author who's participated in another short story collection that I've read as well as written many children's books with her sons. What a vastly differently style across her entire inventory of books and stories... to kick off with, in 'Justice is Never Served,' we have a woman who murders babies! Then there are the chimney sweeping killers (not what you're thinking either!)... Cheadle delivers just the right amount of gore and thrills without going over the top, as the topic could be quite difficult to swallow. The best parts of her three stories are how they are all based on some sort of true story... which makes the tale even more horrific. She's definitely cultivated her talents in these three tales, and I hope to see a full-length horror novel from her one day.

In addition to these two clever authors, I found many new writers I plan to follow. All of the stories were strong, none left me bored or confused. It's a vibrant collection of twisty horrors, delicious death plots, and witty dialog among killers, cops, and victims. There are even a few lines of paranormal / fantasy / science-fiction being crossed, enough to make us afraid to enter a dark room in the future. Between those chills, and the crazy over-arching theme of what happens to both good and bad children in this book, it's a prime candidate for anyone who wants to be frightened or read about something over-the-top devilish and evil.

If you're up for a seasonal read, I'd recommend buying now and reading an author every few days in the month of October. Death and Halloween go so well together, and this is definitely one to keep in mind for pushing the envelope with creativity, complexity, and dark drama. That 'side serving of revenge' we often hear about... is the prime motivating factor in so many of these stories... and who doesn't like to see someone get their just desserts?

Kindle Customer on Audible wrote:

Outstanding!
These are wonderful short, short stories!! The authors have such great ideas and really put a lot into each story. I liked the first, but then I liked the second better, and so on!! Each one is great!! MUST READ!! Great narrator, loved all the different voices, each one so well done!

S.G.B. Editorial Reviewer on AudioFile Magazine wrote:

Narrators Ralph Scott and Kendra Murray stirringly present these short mysteries. Stephen Bentley's "The Rose Slayer" is set in L.A. Scott superbly introduces hard-boiled detectives whose conversation is realistic and entertaining as they close in on a disgruntled author. In Kelly Artieri's "Red Solo Cup," Murray and Scott demonstrate a wide emotional range portraying two couples on a Canadian boating trip. Listeners will be appalled as jealous Linda gets Maggie drunk, which leads to tragedy. "The Neighbors" is by English author Aly Locatelli. Elizabeth, portrayed by Murray, is an appealing mystery writer who is arrested when her neighbor--and lover--is found dead in her yard. Listeners will feel directly involved as narcissistic Harry, portrayed by Scott, and sarcastic police add further drama. These finely written, well-rendered stories offer superior listening. - AudioFile Magazine May 2020


Who The F*ck Am I?

A Steve Regan Undercover Cop Thriller

Book Cover: Who The F*ck Am I?
Part of the Steve Regan Undercover Cop Thrillers series:
Editions:KindlePaperback
ISBN: 978-1976469374
AudiobookePub

Based on a true story and inspired by the author’s real-life undercover days and bestselling memoir, his debut crime fiction story brings to life Steve Regan, a laid-back badass undercover cop in the Steve Regan Undercover Cop trilogy.

 

The title of Book One in the series is a nod to identity confusion often experienced by cops who are deep undercover.

As Regan goes deep undercover, he starts to have problems separating reality from fiction. He works in a world of duplicity leading to the ultimate question: How does Regan know people are who they say they are?

Tempted by the riches of drug smuggling so he can help a loved one, Regan wonders whether he can go 'rogue' and cross the line.

Regan infiltrates a South American cartel headed up by a Miami-based Mob-connected drug lord. Becoming involved in a million-dollar cocaine deal escalates the dangers of working undercover.

On his return to the United Kingdom from Miami, Regan discovers a plot to kill a leading barrister. Is this linked to the Mob and drug cartel?

Faced with a race against time through London to prevent the barrister’s murder, Regan is confronted by more questions and threats to his life. Just how far will the Mob go to protect its interests? You will be shocked to discover the measures these gangsters will use to stay free and out of jail.

If you like hard-boiled crime fiction or are a Jack Reacher fan, this book is for you. Original-concept crime fiction about an undercover cop written by a former undercover cop!

Get it now.

Excerpt:
Reviews:Wolfie Jules on Amazon wrote:

5.0 out of 5 stars Ace
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 January 2019
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Absolutely loved it, knowledge of all the worlds covered was apparent. Infused with the colloquial British humour.
One to recommend and re read in the future

Pat McDonald on Amazon wrote:

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 July 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
I knew when I read the author’s first book Undercover: Operation Julie although non-fiction that he could make the transition to writing fiction; I was right. He has an ease of language that lends itself to storytelling; he tells it as if he was there in the plot and why shouldn’t he having been an undercover cop in the real world? Not that Steve Reagan is meant to be him, but having the experience means he can do whatever he wants with his fictional characters and they will always be believable. Wasn’t too sure about the title until I began to read it and hope it doesn’t put people off from reading this book. Thrown into an undercover world where the Legend (who you are meant to be) is created for you it’s only a matter of time before the one starts to interfere with the other and you ask that question.
There aren’t many crime authors who could write a scene where a big gangland mobster puts a hand to your head as if it were a gun and simulates a close contact assassination that is frighteningly real except someone who has been there and done that!
The book is three dimensional, it’s not merely a descriptive adventure into the shady world of the criminal, it’s multi-layered and analytical which is often missing from other crime author’s work. I was extremely impressed by the prose. His characterisation verges on exceptional as is their interaction with each other. Stephen Bentley is a real contender in the world of crime writing, I hope he sticks at it. I think he has a real gift and insight into the criminal mind which I would love him to explore. Pat McDonald British Crime author.

J. Muccelli on Amazon wrote:

5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Book!
Reviewed in the United States on April 7, 2020
Verified Purchase
Awesome start to a great series based on the author's experiences as an undercover officer, very finely written, and I look forward to reading the next 2 books in the series, Oh! and I Love the name of this book...Well done Stephen! Recommended to all who love this genre.

E. Erin Smith on Amazon wrote:

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2020
Verified Purchase
Truly an interesting twist on undercover work. I was VERY surprised at all of the twists and surprises in this book. A good read for sure.


 

 

 

 

 

Mercy

A Detective Matt Deal Thriller

Book Cover: Mercy
Part of the Detective Matt Deal Thrillers series:
  • Mercy
Editions:KindlePaperback
ISBN: 978-6219619004
Size: 8.00 x 5.50 in
Pages: 318
ePub

His daughter was taken. He’ll never get her back.

Set in the near future, Matt Deal is a British businessman married into a wealthy Florida family.

Mercy, his fifteen-year-old daughter, is the glue in his rocky marriage to Lorey. His life is changed forever after Mercy is brutally sexually assaulted on a Destin beach leaving her in a persistent vegetative state.

Trusting the local detectives to bring the rapists to justice, mixed martial arts expert Deal concentrates in vain on his Florida gym business, only to have his world further explode on learning the men responsible for his daughter’s injuries may escape justice. Deal is isolated and at his wit's end after his rich father-in-law sends death threats blaming him for all these ills.

Who can he turn to? Where can he go? What will he do? Who can he trust?

Will he return to a post-Brexit Britain or ultimately will he seek revenge?

Fans of Jack Reacher, Barry Eisler, and any vigilante justice novel will love this book.


*** Trigger Warning ***
Contains a scene of sexual violence and some scenes of explicit consensual adult sex.

Excerpt:
Reviews:Caroline Walken on Amazon wrote:

5.0 out of 5 stars Hang on to your hat!
Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2020
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hang on to your hat...this thriller is not for the faint-hearted! Matt Deal is a hard-hitting, hot-blooded detective seeking peace and justice for his daughter, Mercy. His voyage takes him into dark places but, he emerges stronger and with a new hot side-kick, Wolfie Jules! The facts of the cases that he works are stellar, his romps with the ladies made this girl blush more than once! Stephen Bentley has created a crime fighter that will remind you of vintage detective mags! Bravo, Stephen Bentley!

Tina on Amazon wrote:

5.0 out of 5 stars 😀
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 November 2019
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The opening scene is gruesome and very descriptive but relevant to the whole story and its character building and the very purpose of Matt Deal and his justice that he needs to serve!
Matt Deal just doesnt seem to catch a break whether it be his wife and his overbearing father in law who blames him for everything that has happened. But the truth will be revealed and Matt Deal will seek bloody revenge on all who has done himself and his daughter wrong. They say revenge is a dish best served cold......but for Matt Deal it is a dish best served with justice. Anyway he can get it!

Great book written well. Intense and an emotional rollercoaster. Read it in one sitting and i think that says enough about how i view this book. Big fat 5 stars 😀.

Jocelyn on Amazon wrote:

Jocelyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Good!
Reviewed in the United States on March 16, 2020
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the most exciting books that I have read. Once I started, I couldn’t stop reading. The writing is crisp, and the action is nonstop. I am impatiently waiting for the ‘continuation’. Stephen Bentley, WRITE FASTER! I absolutely loved this book.

Dave T on Amazon wrote:

5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 March 2020
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Great page turner full of surprises, leaves you wanting to keep reading and not put down. Great believable characters that you really feel for.