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Malicious Mysteries

130 pages1 hour


Murder most foul. Ghostly images. A stumped detective. Lost treasure. An icy poltergeist. A lost boy. A skilled taxidermist. They are all here in this malicious collection of mysterious short stories from the Stringybark Malicious Mystery Short Story Award. Twenty-two award-winning tales that will chill your bones and delight your senses are showcased here for your shivery delight.

"It took a long, dirty hour to clean him up. It took a full fifteen minutes just to ease the twigs and leaves from his matted hair and another fifteen to gently pull out the small thorns and prickles that were stuck in his hands and feet. On the verandah they filled a metal tub with warm, soapy water and encouraged the boy in by adding a plastic duck to the bubbles. The men looked at each other, shaking their heads and half smiling as the boy, naked from the outset, climbed in."
— From "Boy" by Tania Favazza

"The madness was with me again last night. It crept up on me and took me to where I don’t belong, a place where I am dangerous and not to be trusted. But you already know that, don't you Sweetie? Now I look around this pitiful room and see the results of what I have done and for that I am truly sorry. You know I love you and even as you lie there entwined in sheets stained and twisted from the night’s events, I still want you. Nothing, not even age, can ever dull your beauty nor the gracefulness of a neck that I have caressed so many times before. What a pity it broke so easily."
— From "Redemption" by Graham D'Elboux

"Further up the shore, past the small dog playing in the sand, Alisha is standing barefoot at the water’s edge. Her silver strapless dress catches the light, holds it for a moment then lets it escape. The dog barks, distracting her from her downward gaze. She lunges towards him, chasing him as he runs playful circles around her. Alisha grabs something silver from the dog’s mouth, changing direction, she runs, full stride, with an urgency only hampered by the tightness of her dress."
— From "The Silver Stiletto" by Su White

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