Kind Words for “Care & Feeding”

Last week brought a nice surprise—nice boost to the ego. On Friday, Kristopher Zgorski of BOLO Books gave a shout-out to one of my short stories from a few years back and put that story in some very fine company.

Here’s the post:

The story he’s talking about (Kris is very good at suspense himself!) is Peter Lovesey’s “The Man Who Ate People”—from Lovesey’s second collection, The Crime of Miss Oyster Brown and Other Stories, just released for the first time in the U.S. by Crippen & Landru. Kris reviews the collection today at BOLO Books, and I’ve now read the story myself—a terrific one, ahead of its time.

To be listed in the same company as Peter Lovesey and Sophie Hannah!? and with one of my stories counted among a critic’s all-time favorites?! Well, that’s already enough praise to carry a writer through the year, but on the heels of that post—and clearly related to it—I got an email from Gabriel Valjan asking where he could read “The Care & Feeding of Houseplants,” since links to the story online all seemed to be broken, and could I possibly help?

A fellow writer wanting to read more of my work? Indeed, I can.

“The Care & Feeding of Houseplants” was published in the March/April 2013 issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and the story went on to win both the Agatha Award and the Macavity Award for Best Short Story the next year in addition to being named a finalist for the Anthony too. During awards season, the story was temporary available to read for free both at my website and at the EQMM site, but was pulled from the web soon after.

I’m grateful to Janet Hutchings at Ellery Queen for giving me permission to post the story once more here for a brief time—just as it appeared in the pages of the magazine six years ago. (Again, only up for a limited time.)

Thanks again to Kris Zgorski for his support and enthusiasm about my work—and hope folks here enjoy the story as well. (Hovering over the page below will reveal controls for turning the page. You can also download here to read outside of this post.)


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