Other Stories in this issue

Black Bear Country

by Rosemary McCracken

About the Author: Rosemary McCracken is a Canadian journalist who writes the Pat Tierney mysteries. Safe Harbor, the first mystery in the series, was a finalist for Britain’s Debut Dagger. It was published by Imajin Books in 2012, followed by Black Water in 2013 and Raven Lake in 2016. “The Sweetheart Scamster,” a Pat Tierney short story in Thirteen, was a Derringer award finalist in 2014. Jack Batten, The Toronto Star’s crime fiction reviewer, calls Pat “a hugely attractive sleuth figure.” Rosemary lives in Toronto.


It was Ellie’s idea, certainly not mine. A lakeside cabin in the Canadian wilderness was not my dream vacation spot. Bugs, wildlife, water sports—yeesh! We’d tried the cabin experience years before when our kids were young, and it had been the holiday from hell. But Ellie must’ve forgotten about that because all she wanted to celebrate her sixty-fifth birthday was two weeks at a lake.

We left Toronto at noon and headed north. When we arrived in Good Springs, we had an hour before we could claim our little piece of paradise. So we toured the town, which consisted of a police detachment, a diner, a Laundromat and a general store. We bought triple-scoop ice-cream cones and ate them on the bench in front of the store.

We drove further north on the highway and turned onto a dirt road. A good ways down that road, two cottages came into view, each with a numbered marker on a tree. Behind the cottages, an expanse of blue lake sparkled in the afternoon sunlight.

“Paradise Lake!” Ellie said beside me in the passenger seat. From the awe in her voice, it sounded like we’d reached the Great Beyond.

At the marker for the second cottage, we bumped down a rutted lane and pulled up in front of a weathered brown bungalow. Moss was growing on the cabin’s shingles, its wood siding buckled, and its deck with its overhead grid of beams had seen better days.

“It’s darling, Henry!” Ellie cried. “We’re going to have our best vacation here ever.”

Story Comments

Jul 16 - Susan Rickard

A good little story. Nice progression and the little bug—s get their just desserts.

Jul 16 - Susan

Sorry - deserts

Jul 17 - Alex Hamling

Nice story and a good find of the Meth house on the other island. Not sure how the broken toilet and the drugs play together. Is there another hiding spot for the drugs in the cabin?

Jul 17 - Kaye George

Cute story! Thanks for the read.

Jul 17 - John Ptacek

Really enjoyed taking a break and reading your story. Good plot, good pace, crisp writing. More!

Jul 17 - Bonnie Drummond

I just got done reading Black Bear Country and I want more. It's refreshing to read a story that has a good plot, the characters are what drew me into the story. It was a clean read that I would have the young adults along with grown ups to read this story.

Jul 18 - George Garnet

Good one! Guess I'm never going to Black Bear Country:-))

Jul 18 - Jim Andisio

There are no "drop off points" for drugs. Drugs are exchanged for money, usually under tense circumstances due to the nature of bringing drugs and money together at the same place. Exchanges are done in clandestine places to avoid attention and not where drug parties are held. Didn't even find out Henry's name until halfway through the story and can't remember if he had a last name. Have no idea what he or Ellie look like.

Jul 18 - Frances Dunn

This was a light and upbeat story. I expected more of a mystery, but, overall, I liked it.

Jul 19 - Nina Ritter

A wonderful short story. I liked Henry. I got a few good laughs, so I enjoyed the humor. A refreshing read. Keep on writing...

Jul 20 - Rosemary McCracken

Thanks for all your comments! It's great for authors to get readers feedback. Keeps us on our toes.

Jul 21 - Robert Petyo

A fun story. The husband and wife are such real characters, and the plot line was clever, and unexpected. Great job.

Jul 28 - R Winans

a good read, keep writing.

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