Black Cat Weekly

My short story “Grateful Touring” is getting another life with an appearance in the latest issue of Black Cat Weekly e-magazine. Barb Goffman selected it as part of her Barb Goffman Presents short story series. Thank you, Barb!

“Grateful Touring” was originally published in Windward: New England Crime Stories 2016 by Level Best Books. I was so excited because I’d been wanting to be in the New England Crime series for a while. Every year I submitted to the anthology as well as the Al Blanchard Award but was never selected. The anthology launches at the Crime Bake Conference which was one of the very first mystery conferences I went to. It remains one of my favorite conferences. I went to Crime Bake in 2016 even though I wasn’t registered so I could meet the other contributors of the anthology and participate in the signing. I had so much fun and I even crashed a panel featuring Hank Phillippi Ryan (don’t tell anyone).

“Grateful Touring” was inspired by a good friend of mine who is a tour director and does the foliage tours every fall. He’s a big Deadhead like my protagonist Jack. My friend doesn’t smuggle cigarettes on the side, although he agreed that it would be pretty easy to do while on tour so who knows, maybe I gave him something to think about.

Here’s a brief description of my story:

As the director for New England foliage tours, Jack has an easy side hustle smuggling cigarettes while entertaining a motor coach of leaf peepers—as long as he’s teamed up with his driver, Chris. Things get complicated, though, when Bob announces he’s the new driver and Chris is MIA. Fearing the worst and with the trip still on schedule, Jack braces himself for a bumpy ride.

If you’re not a subscriber to Black Cat Weekly (and why aren’t you?), you can pick up the issue here: Black Cat Weekly, #34.


I’m so excited my short story “Grateful Touring” has been selected for inclusion in Level Best Books’ WINDWARD anthology. It should be available just in time for the Crime Bake Conference in Dedham, MA this November. I’m hoping to attend the conference (on the waitlist) as it’d be great fun to be there as an anthology contributor. It’s a fantastic conference anyway!

This is the first time the editors have opened up the anthology to writers who aren’t residents of New England (stories must be set in New England) so it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I’m honored and thrilled to be part of such a fantastic group of writers.


“Grateful Touring” features leaf-peeping, cigarette smuggling, and Deadheads on a foliage tour of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.