“The Spirit of Spadena Street”
When a member of their Storybook Style community is mugged and left with the warning, “We know where you live,” LeJune and June Rose put their heads together before violence spoils the neighborhood.

What others are saying…

“Marian Allen’s ‘The Spirit of Spadena Street’ is the tag story of the book, and it’s a fitting capper. This is a crime story, of course, or it wouldn’t be here, but it’s mostly a very nice story about family, particularly the relationship of a mother and daughter. I’m a fan of Allen’s style. Her writing comes across to me as naturally, effortlessly clever.”
Jack Hardway


“‘Stay out of it. Stay out of it’,” Mama mocked, after the elevator door closed and we started to go up.

It was the morning after Joe’s attack and Buck had said we could go visit, as long as we didn’t think we were going to get ourselves involved.

“All we’re doing is going to visit a friend in the hospital,” I agreed. “It isn’t like we’re interfering in police business.”

We stood side-by-side, staring at the lights above the door as they went from G to 2 and listening to the piped-in Christmas music, pointedly not looking at each other. I mean, we weren’t interfering in police business. Not this time.

We didn’t have to ask where Joe’s room was–it had to be the one with the cop sitting in front of it looking all steely-eyed over his Styrofoam cup.

“Hey there, Tyler,” I said. “Can we go in and see Joe?”

“Sure, I guess so.” He stood up. “I have to look in your purses, though.”

“We’re not packing heat,” I said, but I opened my purse.

“Good luck finding anything in that mess,” Mama said. “If she did have a gun, anybody would be dead of old age before she could get to it.”

“Ha-ha,” I said. “What a funny old lady you are.”

Mama snorted and let Tyler look into that envelope she calls a handbag.

It was a single room, of course, or rather it was a regular room with only Joe in it.

“June Rose and LeJune! My gosh, it’s good to see you girls!”

“Good God in heaven,” Mama said, “you look like a raccoon!”



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

One thought on “THE GIFT OF MURDER – excerpt

Leave a Reply, If You Ple-az

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.