by Suzanne Johnson
When author Mina Khan issued the challenge early this year to five other authors to contribute to an anthology of new novellas that might be considered “paranormal noir,” we all decided to leave it up to each author to decide, exactly, how we might interpret that.
The result, in the new DARK SECRETS anthology, is a broad range of stories whose heroes and villains span the spectrum from faerie princes to, well, some really awful humans.
* In MARION, MISSING, author Rachel Caine’s ghost story leads her P.I. in a racially charged 1940s postwar Texas to face down one of the most awful humans you could ever hope to avoid meeting.
* In FEMME FATALE, Cynthia Eden’s world-weary human P.I. slips into the dark paranormal underworld of vampires, and quickly finds himself trying to figure out who’s the villain…or villainess.
* In DANCE WITH THE DEVIL, ole Satan takes center stage for author Megan Hart’s heroine Kathleen Murphy. Man, talk about getting in over your head!
* In my own novella, THE CONSORT, my hero goes to the realm of Faerie and then back to the back alleys of New Orleans’ French Quarter to thwart the bad guy, the Summer Prince.
* In her retelling of the Grimm fairy tale “The Goose Girl,” author Jeffe Kennedy also enters a fantasy world for HEART’S BLOOD, where her noir villain is a former woman in waiting to a princess who has ideas of herself becoming queen…at any cost.
* And in DJINN IN THE MIRROR, author Mina Khan takes the classic tale of Cinderella into the modern paranormal world with a young witch who must rely on the help of a powerful Djinn in order to escape her own evil stepfather. (Of course, the djinn has his own agenda, which has nothing to do with helping an emperiled witch.)
Other than being villains, I guess our villains have only their villainy in common. And not a single one utters that immortal Jimmy Cagney line, “You dirty rat!”
DARK SECRETS can be purchased in mass market paperback or eBook