Happy Holidays from The Rogue Reader!
Ten weeks ago, we launched at Bouchercon World Mystery Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, our audience has grown to a community of thousands of readers who have helped make Ro Cuzon’s Under the Dixie Moon a Nook bestseller (and a Library Journal Staff Pick for 2012), and have pushed Michael Hogan’s Dog Hills to #3 in Suspense Fiction in the Kindle store.
Dreaming of a Noir Christmas is our chance to say thanks to the readers who have supported us in these early days, and to say welcome to all those who will join us. The four suspenseful short stories are from our original Rogues, Ro Cuzon and Michael Hogan, our January debut author Edward Weinman, and future Rogue Don Rearden. Each has a talent for gut-punch prose, for fearless storytelling, and for immersing readers in places and settings that capture the even the most jaded imaginations.
“Nearly a Christmas Miracle” by Edward Weinman. A struggling young waitress working the only bar in a tiny fishing village in Iceland’s East Fjords endures another Christmas alone. The holiday means even less to a weary, damaged detective forced to return to his desolate hometown to solve the murder of a foreigner found beneath the moldering pier. Stranded at 66 degrees North, where everyone has secrets and holiday folklore is filled with tales of blood and violence, these two lonely characters are drawn together in search of the only thing both of them want for Christmas: revenge.
“Christmas Candyflip, 1992″ by Ro Cuzon. Young Dylan thinks Christmas ain’t Christmas without his three best friends, good weed, and some Ecstasy. When the foursome takes to Disneyland for some narcotic-enhanced amusement and fireworks, they find themselves in the cross-hairs of an ex-cop security guard with a chip on his shoulder. When the guard’s psychotic brand of law-enforcement threatens more than their good times, Dylan has to create some fireworks of his own.
“Buckett Full O’ Coal” by Michael Hogan. Joe Buckett is taking more shit than usual during the holidays. His career is dead, he’s losing his apartment, and his ex-wife’s new husband has him jumping through hoops if he wants see his daughter for Christmas. As trees are lit and carols sung, Buckett stumbles into a degenerate sidewalk Santa and a mystery involving a young girl in need of rescue. Suddenly, Joe Buckett’s got a purpose in life and the mobsters in Brighton Beach are going to find out what happens when you mess with a man who’s got nothing to lose.
“Aurora’s Dance” by Don Rearden. An Alaskan trapper, alone for the holidays in the desolate, snow-covered tundra, stumbles on a sled and dog team abandoned in the darkness. As the temperature plummets and snow conditions become dangerous, the trapper frantically searches for the missing owner. Finding him could mean company for Christmas or prove a fatal trap, but by the time he discovers the truth hidden in the Arctic darkness, it may be too late to turn back.
Any and all proceeds from the anthology will go to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts of the American Red Cross. Whether you purchased this ebook from your favorite retailer or read it free here on TheRogueReader.com, we hope you’ll give whatever you can to The Red Cross or other charities that are working to relieve the suffering from the storm, and bring help to those that need it most.