For the past twenty years Mississippi author John M. Floyd has been one of the most widely published short-story writers in America. His work has been nominated for the Edgar Award, has won the Derringer Award three times, and has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. In addition, his stories have been listed among the top fifty mysteries of the year seven times by Best American Mystery Stories editor Otto Penzler, and twice among the top twenty—and he was recently awarded the Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer Award for lifetime achievement in short mystery fiction. Floyd’s work has been praised by James Patterson, Nevada Barr, Jan Burke, Carolyn Haines, Steve Hamilton, Marcus Sakey, Tom Franklin, and many others; Douglas Preston has called him “a master of the art of the short story.”
Never has that talent been more evident than in this seventh collection of Floyd’s short fiction. All thirty stories contained in The Barrens are mystery/suspense, most are set in the steamy South, and six of them are installments in his popular “Law and Daughter” series, featuring Sheriff Lucy Valentine and her crimesolving mother Fran. Like his previous books—Rainbow’s End, Midnight, Clockwork, Deception, Fifty Mysteries, and Dreamland—the adventures here are full of quirky characters, Hitchcockian tension, and (maybe most important of all) plenty of plot twists and surprises.
Welcome to The Barrens. Proceed with caution . . .