Happy Friday, everyone! Today's short fiction is a gem of a story that I recently discovered. Laura Lippman, as you may know, is one of my go to authors. Every new release makes it to the TBR, though I do still have some backlist to work through (coming soon!). And her short stories have long been some of my favorites.
In fact, Lippman's short fiction caught my attention back with the release of one I'm sure you're sick of hearing about here on the blog, the 2004 mystery/thriller anthology Like a Charm. Edited by Karin Slaughter, this collection of linked shorts featured a literal who's who of the thriller genre - including Lippman herself with a tale called "Not Quite U."
And so, when I discovered "Five Fires" I knew that not only did it have to be next on my to read list, it had to be my next Short Fiction Friday pick as well.
The town of Belleville has seen three random fires since the start of summer. Three fires that could be accidental, though Beth suspects otherwise. Beth will be a senior when school starts and after that she plans to go on to college to major in Criminal Justice, so of course she has a keen interest in discovering the real story behind the fires. She knows the fires are connected. She knows there will be more. And she thinks she knows who is responsible.
If your concern - as mine typically was and still occasionally is - is that the short will feel incomplete or lacking in some way, have no fear! "Five Fires" is a short short, but it's still full of Lippman's signature suspense, character and plot development, and unexpected twists.
The short is the first release from the newly acquired Byliner imprint at Vook. I was not familiar with either Byliner or Vook before this, but I will definitely be on the lookout for new shorts. You can read more about both here.