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Friday, January 27, 2023


M. A. Monnin writes the Intrepid Traveler Mystery series. Her latest, Death on the Grand Canal, comes out May 2023. M.A. is one of the contributors to the Hook, Line, & Sinker short story anthology. Her short stories have also appeared in Black Cat Mystery MagazineBlack Cat Weekly, and several other anthologies, including the Anthony Award-winning Mystery Most Edible. Learn more about M.A. and her books at her website.

Who’s Conning Whom?

Who doesn’t love a good con? Or a good con gone wrong? I know I do. Do you root for the con or the mark? For me, it depends. If no one gets hurts, I root for the con, like Robin Hood and The Saint. But then there are others who I’m happy to see get what’s coming to them, those that just play dirty.


Hook, Line & Sinker, the latest crime fiction anthology from the Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime has plenty of both, with twenty-three tales of blackmail, double-crosses, forgery, bribery, royal intrigue and scams galore from authors Sandra Benson, C. N. Buchholz, Lida Bushloper, Judith Carlough, Kait Carson, Susan Daly, M. R. Dimond, Mary Dutta, Kate Fellowes, Wrona Gall, Vinnie Hansen, Ann Michelle Harris, Kim Keeline, Jane Limprecht, Sally Milliken, M. A. Monnin, A. W. Powers, Merrilee Robson, KM Rockwood, Lisa Anne Rothstein, Steve Shrott, Frances Stratford, and Shannon Taft.


Just what is it we love about a con? Is it the chance to get one over on the bad guy? The desire to see someone win, when we ourselves haven’t? Could it be our sense of justice, which often isn’t satisfied in real life? Justice doesn’t always lie clearly on the side of law and ethics, but often hides in a moral gray area.


You might say we enjoy reading about clever con artists because they let us vicariously get back at those who have gotten the better of us. We like to see the little guy getting the better of the big bully. Or so we tell ourselves.


Maybe what we admire most is seeing some cheeky devil get away with stuff we’d never be able to get away with ourselves.


If you enjoy a good con, I invite you to check out this collection of grifters, liars, thieves and cheats and decide which side you’d be on.


Here’s a quick and delicious beverage to sip as you read about these ne’er do wells, named after my story, “Just Another Shot in the Dark.”


Just Another Shot in the Dark 


1 cup hot chocolate, the darker the better.


Add to it:

1 shot of Grand Marnier or other orange flavored liqueur.

Whip cream if desired.


Been a victim of a con? Make it bittersweet! Shave a little unsweetened chocolate on top.


Hook, Line, & Sinker

Deep inside, in that place you hide from the world, have you ever considered how you would carry off a great con? Or maybe secretly plotted revenge for falling prey to a grifter, liar, or cheat? As these twenty-three authors of devious plot twists show, whether it’s running a con or extracting revenge, it doesn’t always go the way you expected. In this seventh anthology of short stories from the 1,100 - member Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime, the stakes are high: money, power, love, and life itself. 


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Vinnie Hansen said...

This drink sounds way too delicious! Being in the anthology, I have a copy, of course, and have just started reading. I love the theme of this seventh anthology from the Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime!

KM Rockwood said...

Great bedtime reading, especially seeing some evil souls get their comeuppance.

Mo Walsh said...

I love those "Sting" stories! And, ahem, write them, though none in this anthology. Congratulations to Mary et. al.

Mary Monnin said...

Thanks Mo! I agree with Vinnie and KM-- Hook, Line & Sinker is a fun read.