Conda Douglas has come out with a book of 13 short stories based in her native Idaho in a collection called Mild West Mysteries. An eclectic mix of stories, this book gives different takes on the mystery genre, with a couple whodunits but with other stories of people planning murder and bits of fantasy.
Several of the stories feature Dora, the main character in Douglas’s Starke Dead series. They include a woman shot dead, perhaps mistaken for a bear and a jeweler who foils a heist in a very unique manner.
Each story includes a creative twist, often reminiscent of the famous author of irony, O. Henry. People planning murder find that things don’t go as simply as they intend. A former sheriff dead for 100 years must solve a murder in order to move on in his afterlife. A man is killed with a zucchini in the “squash wars.” A dog tries hard to behave himself in order to get good enough karma to come back in a better state.
Each story begins with a short introduction by Douglas giving background to her story, with most being inspired by her own life and her family’s life in Idaho.
Douglas herself narrates her collection of stories. It is enjoyable to hear the author read her stories as we get a nice sense of her own meanings as she wrote each one.
Mild West Mysteries has some really fun, fanciful stories that are sure to delight. The variety in styles makes them really enjoyable. I give the book four stars.
To purchase this book for yourself, click here on Amazon.