Summer brings with it well-deserved rest and relaxation, and a chance to catch up on some reading. But if you’re not looking to dig into a hearty novel or memoir while sunbathing on the beach, how about something quick, thrilling, and suspenseful? Pick up some short stories, perfect to liven up a lazy day under the sun where you can read one right after another. Here are some of our juicy 3RP short story collections full of hilarity, excitement, and mayhem to keep your summer days sizzling!
Florida Happens edited by Greg Herrin
Why not start your literary vacation in the Sunshine State? Award-winning author and editor Greg Herrin’s Florida Happens has got twenty-one stories which take on the most peculiar mysteries hidden beneath the Florida palm trees and the most unusual crimes sprawled across the sands. Full of stories from the brightest stars in mystery writing, this collection is sure to keep you engrossed from the very start.
“These 21 tales are testimony to the wealth of notable crime fiction rooted in the Sunshine State.” ―Publishers Weekly
“There’s something for everyone, some private investigation, a little bit of cozy, and a lot of noir. If you like mysteries and find Florida’s penchant for exuberant ridiculousness intriguing, you will love this book.” ―Tonstant Weader
“As crazy-unpredictable as a Florida vacation! These short-story gems are quirky, surprising, original and irresistible. It’s a collaboration of mystery rock stars that’s absolutely terrific.” ―Hank Phillippi Ryan Nationally best-selling author of Trust Me
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Crime Plus Music edited by Jim Fusilli
If you’re looking for some gripping, dark, and intense reads to pull you in from under the sun, try Crime Plus Music, edited by novelist and Wall Street Journal music critic Jim Fusilli. Featuring twenty chilling tales set to the tune of rock and pop, this noir anthology is the perfect accompaniment to add to your summer literary “soundtrack” through the capable hands of modern mystery fiction masters.
“A vibrant emotional connection with verve and creativity. . . . There’s plenty here to chew on for fans of rock-and-roll and crime fiction.” —The Washington Post
“Fusilli’s music-themed anthology rocks with superb solos from a number of big-name mystery writers and others who deserve to be better known. . . . Splendid compilation.” —Publishers Weekly
“A strong lineup of talent . . . hilarious . . . raw . . . exciting.” —ALA Booklist
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The Faking of the President edited by Peter Carlaftes
Continuing on the noir trend, check out the bizarre, outlandish stories in The Faking of the President, edited by 3RP’s own co-director Peter Carlaftes, and take a mini vacation into the hilariously implausible alternate universe which asks and answers “what would happen if a spy seized a sudden opportunity for power after Woodrow Wilson’s stroke? How does Nixon take a wacky psychedelic trip with Elvis Presley?” Full to the brim with offbeat, zany tales, this collection is sure to be a standout for your summer reading lists.
“The stories put arrows in the red … [with] “Manchurian Candidate”-style Cold War paranoia … exploitation … actual history [and] first ladies who are the power behind the throne. … The actual present is left until last, when [editor] Carlaftes himself appears for an audacious final story.” ―The New York Times
“One of the strangest, most exhilarating rides you’ll take in noir this year…Editor Peter Carlaftes brings together a talented group of contemporary noir luminaries, each author offering a unique vision of executive excess and intrigue.” ―CrimeReads
“The Faking of the President is a wild, rollicking ride through the corridors of power both past and present. These stories are dark, humorous and thoughtful; they take the presidency and its environs and turn it into a fun house of noirish story-telling.” ―T.J. English, New York Times Best Selling author of Havana Nocturne and The Westies
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The Obama Inheritance edited by Gary Phillips
And if you’re still riding the noir train, find even more satirically fantastic, over-the-top tales which riff on the screwball and eccentric conspiracy theories spun about the 44th president of the U.S. Edited by award-winning crime novelist and activist Gary Phillips, The Obama Inheritance was named Foreword Reviews 2017 Indie Book Award for Best Anthology, and is perfect for spicing up your summer afternoon with outlandish stories of cloned Supreme Court judges, vigilante First Ladies, and more!
“Resistance takes many forms, particularly in the current political climate. Few methods of protest are as cheerfully strange and purposefully bizarre as THE OBAMA INHERITANCE.” ―The Washington Post
“It’s a commonplace these days to say that real life has become so unpredictable that it outstrips anything anyone could dream up in fiction. I think I’m guilty of having made that banal observation a few times. But that was before I read The Obama Inheritance, a collection of 15 stories so sly, fresh and Bizarro World witty, they reaffirm the resiliency of the artistic imagination.” ―Maureen Corrigan, NPR Fresh Air
“Truth may be stranger than fiction, but why should the conspiracists have all the fun of creating fake narratives?” ―Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune
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Dark City Lights edited by Lawrence Block
If the beach isn’t exactly your ideal summer vacation spot, how about New York City? In Dark City Lights, famed detective and mystery writer Lawrence Block collects twenty-three hilarious, heart-pounding stories set in the city that never sleeps. Tangled in mysteries, you’re bound to find more than one story to keep you enthralled either on the beach, in the city, or anywhere in between.
“Each story, no matter how brief or how weird, feels indelibly true to New York.” ―Manhattan Book Review
“Great stories in the great city of New York, where anything can happen and usually does. Highly recommended.” ―The Rap Sheet
“Dark City Lights: New York Stories (Three Rooms Press, out now), edited by Lawrence Block, gathers 23 original short stories by fiction writers (including Block, a bestselling mystery novelist), screenwriters, actors and others, all set in the city. . . . Thrilling to comic, from a visit to a Garment District shop by Marilyn Monroe to an invasion of Central Park by space aliens . . . Nicely twisted . . .” ―Tampa Bay Times
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