KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.


I Like My Comedy Black Please: Friday Forgotten Book - LOOT by Joe Orton

Rolling out the old steamer trunk, dusting off my theater hat today.

I love comic crime novels, the ones that deftly mix the mechanisms of the genre and zing-pow-zap you with caustic laser-beam humor... leaving you, well, in stitches.

The usual suspects poke their heads up from the end of the bed--Gischler, Swierczynski, Konrath, Crais, Phillips, Hockensmith, freakin' Crumley. As an aspiring crime writer I look to these masters and many others when I seek to relieve the darker spirals of my stories. But I also lookback at my studies in theater as well.... my joyful fascination with its long comic traditions.

Which brings me to my Friday forgotten book...a great play worth reading and seeing. Critics bashed it in its day, but now the play is recognized as a black farce classic: LOOT by Joe Orton.

Meet skeevy bank robbers Hal and Dennis. Not only do they decide to rob a bank next to a funeral home where Dennis slaves, they head back to Hal's house to hide out. Oh. And by the way Hal's mum? She's dead and laid out for viewing. Perfect place to hide the money might be the coffin, right? Oh, no. Dear God, no, no, no, no, no....

I was lucky enough to see an excellent production of this play once. Even if the actors aren't pros, you'll die laughing.