Jada Ryker’s collected short stories run the gamut from mystery to horror to science fiction. The stories include “Gimlet,” “As the Crow Flies,” “Cross to Bear,” “An Alien Act of Honor,” “Winner Takes All,” “Dead Eye,” “The Hand of Karma,” and “Driving Miss Daisy’s Cattle.”
In “Gimlet,” Juneau and Coldwell pose as patients in a mental hospital to solve a paranormal mystery. Fellow patient Iris, notorious for both her séances and her police record, claims she’s in touch with the spirits who have the answers to the puzzle. Will her supernatural connections help Juneau and Coldwell solve the mystery, or lead to a one-way trip to the morgue?
In “As the Crow Flies,” Fresna is a middle-aged nursing assistant toiling in a nursing home. She likes Mr. Corvis, an eccentric resident. When odd things happen to Fresna, Mr. Corvis is in the vicinity.
Tina returns to her rural Kentucky home to attend her hard-living and hard-drinking brother’s funeral in “A Cross to Bear.” She reconnects with Chris, her childhood friend’s handsome brother. Tina has to contend with her troubled relationship with her father, her feelings for Chris . . . and a malevolent watcher.
Mae Rue is on the verge of being arrested for her husband’s brutal murder. An extraterrestrial family invades her grief, seeking to right an old wrong. Mae Rue learns there are many facets to honor, including “An Alien Act of Honor.”
After her emotionally distant father Billy Ray emerges from a coma with an extraordinary story, Marisa explores her challenging relationship with him. Alex, Marisa’s friend from childhood and possibly more today, provides his unconventional support. In “Winner Takes All,” Marisa and her father learn how a second chance impacts them both.
In “Dead Eye,” Alex takes Marisa to an unusual Halloween party in an isolated Kentucky community . . . with a murderer ready with deadly tricks, rather than treats.
In “The Hand of Karma,” Jessamine, mourning her mother’s sudden death, becomes trapped in a funeral home’s cellar with a monster from her past.
In “Driving Miss Daisy’s Cattle,” Lieutenant Camden finds out that viral videos of a dead bull rider, with a rodeo clown bent over him, don’t tell the whole story. With a brand-new officer dogging his footsteps, Cam has to solve the mystery.
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