Other Stories in this issue

Blood and Deceit

by J.A. Thorndyke

About the Author: J.A.Thorndyke graduated with merit from the Master of Creative Writing program at the University of Sydney. She has published poems and stories in many literary journals. Julie won the 2011 and 2015 FAW Pauline Walsh short story competitions. Two collections of her tanka poetry are available from Ginninderra Press.


I am a crime writer. I am a crime writer sick and tired of it … worn down by the blood and deceit, the conniving and trickery in my books. As each manuscript reaches the publisher, I think: That’s it, that’s the last. But Gus won’t let me alone.

Augustus Crabbe—not his real name, a self-styled detective, a third generation Hercule Poirot—keeps feeding me, hounding me with material. Crimes so heinous and irresistible in their ingenuity and design, their wit and brilliance, I can’t turn away but must tap, tap, tap at the keyboard in a writing frenzy so as not to miss any of the vital details or nuances important to the reader’s hold on the narrative thread.

He sends information by email. By fax if I avoid the computer for days on end. He sends newspaper clippings and police photographs by post.I try to ignore the bulky post-bags but cannot last more than a day without ripping into the package, pouring myself a fortifying scotch and laying out the contents on the living room floor, piecing together the gruesome jigsaw puzzle he has sent to keep me in his thrall.

Story Comments

Aug 30 - Jim Courter

Nicely conceived. Nicely developed and concluded. Nicely written. Well done!

Aug 31 - Frances Dunn

A great story with a different detective twist. I loved it.

Sep 1 - Derek McMillan

I think the whole story builds towards its denouement and there are few if any wasted words. I like the concept of the writer entrapped by crime who can only get free by committing murder.

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