My local bookstore, the 57th Street Books branch of the Seminary Co-op, has begun posting the winning stories in their Parker flash fiction contest, for which I served as one of the judges. Congratulations to Ryan Garms, whose "The Rare Book Score" took third place, and to Anders Runestad, who swiped second with "The Bookstore Heist," both of which are now up at the store's Front Table blog.
Keep an eye on the Front Table for the winning story later this week--and if 150-word semi-comic heists aren't enough to sate your need for crime, you can pick up the three newest Richard Stark reissues from my employer, the University of Chicago Press, Deadly Edge, Slayground, and Plunder Squad. In a great new foreword to the books, Hard Case Crime editor Charles Ardai describes them as marking a new plateau in Richard Stark's career to that point. Considering the number of times I gasped out loud while reading them, I can't disagree--along with the upcoming Butcher's Moon, this is as good, and as dark, as Parker gets.