Monterey Shorts
Walter Gourley et al.
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Buy *Monterey Shorts: Stories by Fiction Writers of the Monterey Peninsula* online

Monterey Shorts: Stories by Fiction Writers of the Monterey Peninsula
Walter Gourlay et al.
Thunderbird Press
248 pages
October 2002
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Monterey Shorts is a collection of short stories by the Fiction Writers of the Monterey Peninsula.

"Reunion" is a bittersweet ghostly romance story that tugs at readers' heartstrings with a deft touch; the gentle pacing eases the reader into the surreal reunion of a World War II veteran and his love. "Mortuary Beach" is a cautionary tale on the perils of scuba diving whose pacing keeps up with the plot as circumstances drift away from the control of the divers. "The Lizard Catcher" involves the summer pastimes of a prepubescent girl who unravels the mystery of her friends disappearance. "Monte ~ Ray Gunn" attempts to be a science fiction detective thriller, although it falls a bit short of the goal by becoming bogged down in the minute details of the fictional world it describes. "Borscht In The Bay" meanders aimlessly through the plot of Russians in America ala the Cold War era. "Resurrected" centers on a person dealing with a motherís chronic fatigue syndrome and the ensuing consequences, which range from poignant to humorous.

"A Flash Of Red" is a well-paced mystery that keeps a tight reign on the tension of the story until it is satisfactorily solved. "A Place To Heal" is a look at life through the eyes of a world-weary police officer who tries to reconcile with his lost love. "If The Tubs Could Talk," the briefest entry, is a jewel of a story about the pleasant drifting a mind does when a body is immersed in a hot springs tub. Finally, there is "Dotís Dad Visits Dinosaur Town." It is a refreshing tale of the wonders that happen when a parent loosens up enough to follow his eight-year-old on a fantastically whimsical journey.

From a comforting story of what happens to lovers after death to a rollicking good mystery to a fantasy world anyone would love to visit, Monterey Shorts is a great read with something for everyone.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Camden Alexander, 2004

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