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Synopsis

It’s the ninth commandment: Thou shalt not lie. But if you’ve already covered the big sins on the list -- coveting, stealing, killing -- why balk at a fib...especially when it might save your neck?

That’s why you’ll find all kinds of lies in Steve Hockensmith’s crime stories. Trying to cut through them to the truth are cops, private eyes, spies, criminals and ordinary people in way over their heads.

In the Derringer Award-winning “Erie’s Last Day,” a retiring detective races against the clock to solve one final case before he has to turn in his badge.

“Fred Menace, Commie for Hire” introduces the wildest P.I. ever to wisecrack his way through a case.

In “Strays,” a paranoid old man’s fantasies about a neighborhood crime ring turn out to be true...sort of.

“The Case of the Unfortunate Fortune Cookie” offers a hilarious answer to one of life’s little mysteries: Why don’t fortune cookies have real fortunes in them anymore?

Retired cop Larry Erie takes on his first case as a private detective -- the theft of an irreplaceable piece of baseball history -- in “Minor League.”

In “Burl Lockhart’s in Town,” a pair of rustlers try to get the jump on the Pinkerton on their trail only to discover that he’s even closer than they thought.

The search for a stolen dog leads Larry Erie to a deadly conspiracy in “Animals.”

An innocent young man finds himself caught in the crossfire of a Chicago drug war in “Didn’t Do Nothing.”

In the Shamus Award finalist “Tricks,” a reluctant Larry Erie finds himself dragged into the search for a kidnapped monkey.

“The MacGuffin Theft Case” tackles another of life’s little mysteries -- why are pizzas round? -- and finds that the answer is “Communist spies.” Really.

In the Shamus-, Barry- and Anthony-nominated “The Big Road,” Larry Erie teams up with a trucker to find a highjacked shipment of TVs.

And “Blarney” takes a peek into the twisted mind of the world’s most embittered crime writer.

Originally published in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and various anthologies, these 12 tales from short story master Steve Hockensmith (Holmes on the Range, Dreadfully Ever After) are sure to please any lover of quality crime fiction -- and that’s no blarney!

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