The Exquisite Corpse Volume 2: Double Tap

“Joyce was still on lockdown when Ronald offered to have her father’s cadaver tossed in a pit and burned with the corpses of the bikers and the mercenaries. She had no qualms about this particular scenario, but April insisted that her grandfather deserved a proper burial, so Joyce relented.”

Last month I had the pleasure of overseeing the second instalment of the multi-author Exquisite Corpse project. I wrote the first chapter, and then the story passed on to a further 23 authors, each of whom added his or her unique fingerprint to the proceedings.

Writing can be a solitary, selfish pursuit, so it was a lot of fun to collaborate in this way, and everyone delivered the goods. Despite kicking things off myself, it’s safe to say that the story veered off into some crazy directions I never saw coming!

All things being well, a third volume will emerge later this summer.

In the meantime, here are the Volume 2 links for your reading pleasure!

Part 1: Paradise Parlour

Part 2: Security Measures

Part 3: Richer Than God

Part 4: What The Bones Said

Part 5: Nothing But Darkness

Part 6: The Art of Violence

Part 7: The Taste of Blood

Part 8: The Mistress of Death


Jingle Bells, Shotgun Shells @ Punk Noir Magazine

“It’s Christmas Eve and I’m standing in the middle of a stash house in Hookhills, bleeding from one ear and trying to work out which one of the hired hands I should shoot first: the skinny guy in the soiled Sexy Santa minidress or the fat fuck in the scuffed-looking ballistics vest.”

Thanks to Paul D. Brazill for running this year’s Paignton Noir Christmas story, JINGLE BELLS, SHOTGUN SHELLS, at Punk Noir Magazine.

This is a heart-warming festive romp involving firearms, fuckwits, Fentanyl and food banks. You can read it here.

And if you want some added Christmas cheer, why not check out my previous Christmas stories here?

Venus In Fake Furs @ Retreats From Oblivion

“Frank has come a long way. The way people tell it, he started out selling dirty pictures imported in bulk from the Eastern Bloc. Pale flesh, dead eyes and plenty of pubic hair. He kept them in a lock-up behind Winner Street and flogged them in pubs, video shops and amusement arcades. Understandably, he was known around town as ‘Frank the Wank’ . . .”

Many thanks to Lou Boxer and Cullen Gallagher for running my brand new Paignton Noir story Venus In Fake Furs at Retreats From Oblivion: The Journal of Noircon.

This one is a companion piece to my upcoming book, Repetition Kills You, which will be published by All Due Respect/Down & Out Books in just over a month’s time. It is always fun to pick through the narrative wreckage and find out what the survivors are up to!

Coincidentally, Repetition Kills You is available for pre-order now!


Dirty English @ Near To The Knuckle

“People say he killed a bent cop with a lump hammer after a deal went boss-eyed, but then again, I’ve heard worse stories about myself that weren’t necessarily true…”

Last month I had a brand new Paignton Noir story online at the Near To The Knuckle: Dirty English.

This is the 12th story of mine to appear on the Near To The Knuckle website. Here are the rest. A couple of these appear in my book Meat Bubbles & Other Stories, so you can try before you buy!

Blue Christmas @ Near To The Knuckle

“Why was Father Christmas upset when he got a sweater for Christmas?”
I shrug.
“Because he was hoping for a screamer or a moaner.”

Blue Christmas was the third of my three festive crime stories to go live last year, when it was published by UK crime site Near To The Knuckle on Christmas Day!

Funnily enough, my first ever NTTK story was a Christmas story too: Christmas Eve Can Kill You.


Machine Gun Etiquette @ People Holding

Last month saw a brand new piece of flash fiction go online at People Holding, entitled Machine Gun Etiquette.

All of the stories on the site are written to a photographic prompt, which proved to be very challenging – but hugely satisfying.

As an added bonus, here is an audio version of the story, read by me!

People Holding is a great concept, very well executed, so stick around and investigate further.

Machine Gun Etiquette - Tom Leins