Corliss and Other Award Winning Stories is a collection of short stories by Heather Haven. This collection of murder, mystery and suspense has the common thread of humanness throughout, from the title story of Corliss, a young woman who must go to great lengths to protect her future, to Jemma, a bulldog who is more human than most of the humans in the stories in this outstanding collection.
Haven writes with a steady and accomplished hand, packing a ton of suspense into a very tight space. The results of this skill are an inevitable explosion at the end of each story. This is short story writing at its best. You’ll want to re-read all of these stories many, many times.
Five of five stars.
Porter Wyler wasn’t a handsome man, but his wife, Yvette suspected he was cheating. So, she hired her best friend, Lila Alvarez, CEO of Discretionary Enquiries, Inc., to follow him and get the dirt on him. The condition, though, was that it be kept in the family, so Lila sends her daughter, Liana ‘Lee’ Alvarez to tail the suspected cheat. Things turn really sour when Wyler is killed, and Lee, because she finds the body, is caught up in the investigation, and is even considered a person of interest.
Murder is a Family Business, the first book in the Alvarez Family mysteries series, follows Lee as she delves into why a nonentity who made Danny DeVito look tall, dark, and handsome would be gunned down near a supposedly abandoned warehouse in San Francisco. Her efforts to solve the case are complicated by the fact that DI is not a gumshoe operation, but a sophisticated computer crime investigation service. Fortunately for Lee she has the help of her computer genius brother, Richard, and the support of a domineering, but loving mother to get her through the rough spots—of which there are many in this taut mystery that is also laced with humor a la Sue Grafton. Lee is no Kinsey Milhone; she comes from money; but, she is just as dogged in her pursuit of the truth, and I think I’ve found a new heroine to moon over.
A book that you’ll find impossible to put down. I would give it five stars (in fact, wanted to), but in all fairness, there were a number of typos and missing words that should have been caught in editing, so I’ll give it four instead, and wait for the next one, which I’m sure will catapult into the five-star firmament..