Thursday, December 8, 2011

Deadly Treats: Halloween Tales of Mystery, Magic, and Mayhem

Sabrina's Scary Christmas Part I 
This will be an ongoing review of 21 short stories found in the Halloween anthology, Deadly Treats: Halloween Tales of Mystery, Magic, and Mayhem compiled and edited by Ann Frasier.

Today's short stories are brought to you by Patricia Abbott, Bill Cameron, and Pat Dennis. They contain a little bit of this, and a little bit of that... mingled with an angel, a bat, and a pitchfork.  Enjoy.



DEADLY TREATS starts with The Angel Deeb  by Patricia Abbott. It's a magical little story about a petty criminal growing a pair of wings. Don't believe me?  It's true. He's become angelic... in that he's developed a problem with his shoulder blades (winged scapula), and the condition has left him with a wing-like appearance. And, as you can probably guess, having problems with your shoulder blades can cause serious problems when your income as a thief depends on your ability to reach (think... grabbing purses on the go, picking pockets for wallets, snagging pieces of jewelry on a moving target).  

After seeing a doctor and gaining a  better appreciation for his medical condition, Mr. Deeb sets out to find another way to bring in a steady income and soon makes stealing items from mailboxes his newly preferred crime. Turns out stealing from mailboxes isn't that easy, though, as his first attempt leaves him with a box of medical supplies... insulin for a child.  Look, the guy might be a criminal, but he's a criminal with standards, not to mention wings. So, doing the right thing, Mr. Deeb returns the box and meets a little girl named Isabella... who happens to mistake him for her guardian angel, Angel Deeb. Not only do those wings come in handy when he has to return the medicine to Isabella, but after this little encounter... it looks like this criminal might just have what it takes to become a real angel. 
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The cutest bat EVER steals the show in Sunlight Nocturne by Bill Cameron. It might be a beautiful day in Portland, Oregon, but suspects in a home invasion robbery are about to bring some drama to a relatively quiet neighborhood where the neighbors are friendly... and the children are even friendlier.  Spending his day building a bat house with his four year old neighbor, former Detective Kadash is sneaking updates on the radio about the home invasion suspects still on the lose in the area, and listening to the whap-whap-whap of a nearby helicopter.  With lessons in all things bat related, this former detective and his four year old helper manage to put together, paint, and install the bat house just in time for an early night of trick-or-treating. Of course the trick-or-treating comes after one of the crazy suspects decides to take a short cut through the yard.  In this story you'll read about a lying Mormon missionary with a really screwed up mother, a possible relationship in the making, and envision a cute little bat flying around the yard eating bugs.  
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I don't think I've ever been competitive when it comes to decorating my house for the holidays.  I certainly don't know how many christmas lights the next door neighbor has up compared to the neighbor across the street. And I didn't really wander through the neighborhood to see what house had the biggest Halloween display this year. Although... I can say that the Eddy's would have won with their Grim Reaper Pumpkin Carriage that took up the entire front yard.  That thing was AWESOME! So awesome, that it was stolen just after the sun went down and long before the world had retired for the night. 

In Dead Line by Pat Dennis, we meet a woman with a nasty competitive streak named Kate. Kate's about  about to run out of time to add more decorations to her Halloween yard display and is in fear of not winning the first place trophy in the town Halloween decorating competition.  For most people this wouldn't be a concern, but for Kate it becomes a huge issue when the sister that has always stolen the show decides to take a break from her fear of Halloween and out shine Kate in the competition.

What's probably more annoying than Kate's over achieving sister is her not-so-adoring hubby. After sulking to her room to eat a bag of chocolate (they sleep in separate bedrooms because of his snoring... a much more common occurrence than people realize), Kate finds herself putting on her coat in the middle of the night and heading over to her sister's house with a pitch fork. Her "plan" is to cause damage to the decorations, but when she finds someone familiar lurking in a tree with a pair of binoculars peeping through the window of her sister's house... well, let's just say that pitch fork is put to very good use.  But, unfortunately, the memories of that difficult night prove to be too much for poor Kate so... move over Halloween... Kate's taking over Christmas.

-I'll be back with more stories from the Deadly Treats Anthology in a few days.

Deadly Treats is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

4 comments:

jchrz said...

These all sound like must reads for the Holidays. Can't wait to check them out.

Anonymous said...

Interesting books to read.

Paul D. Brazill said...

All beaut stories. Patti's is a masterclass.

pattinase (abbott) said...

How very kind of you to review all of our stories. You must be our guardian angel!