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.



The Guns of Brixham @ Akashic Books

“The skinhead wipes the rain out of his eyes and cackles.

“I’m glad I’m not the poor bastard that has to try and identify your body.”

His pump-action shotgun is wedged against my throat. He is going to make one hell of a mess…”

In November last year my story The Guns of Brixham was featured in Akashic Books’ ‘Mondays are Murder’ series. This was my third Devon-based Akashic story, after Paignton Rust and The Graveyard Shift, which was set in Plymouth.

I love the long-running Akashic Noir paperback series, and it is always a pleasure to be featured on the website.


The Repulsion Box @ Crime Factory

“It is nine o’clock, and the Burning Wheel is emptier than a plundered grave. The warm summer air filters through the propped-open fire exit. It carries with it the tang of raw sewage.”

I am delighted to confirm that my new story The Repulsion Box is included in Issue #19 of the excellent Australian crime fiction journal Crime Factory.

This one is a nasty little slice of Paignton Noir, and I’m happy that it has found a home in such a great publication.

The Kindle version is dirt-cheap, so please check it out!


Other People’s Blood @ Near To The Knuckle

“Two men I don’t recognise walk into the TV lounge. The fat one is wearing a luminous-coloured t-shirt with the phrase ‘Amateur Gynaecologist’ emblazoned across it. I assume it is a joke, but in this town you never really know. After all, everyone needs a hobby…”

Last month I had a new slab of Paignton Noir over at excellent UK crime fiction site Near To The Knuckle. Check out Other People’s Blood, and let me know what you think!


The Curtain Jerker @ Five 2 One Magazine

“The hooker has the unfortunate bowlegged stance of an undercard fighter limping between pay-days.”

My new story The Curtain Jerker was published by Five 2 One Magazine at the end of last month. This one is the first installment in a 20-story wrestling noir series that I am aiming to get published over the course of the next twelve months.  Watch this space!

The Curtain Jerker - Tom Leins

Molotov Cocktail Lounge @ Yellow Mama

“I slowly unwrap the grease-proof paper. Inside is a human hand. It is half rotted, with flaked yellow skin clinging to the bone.”

Earlier this month I had a new piece of flash fiction featured at Yellow Mama – a first for me.

Anyone fancy paying a visit to the Molotov Cocktail Lounge?

Molotov Cocktail Lounge Tom Leins

The Carny @ Liars League Hong Kong


Late last year my story The Carny was selected by the Hong Kong offshoot of cult literary event Liars League for their ‘Rich & Poor’ event. The video has now emerged online, and you can find it here. The actor, Aaron Kahn, adds a great new dimension to the story, and I think his Americana-fuelled take on my Paignton Noir yarn is fantastic. Check it out!

Jailbait @ Near To The Knuckle

“I twist the screwdriver out of his neck, and it makes a sound like a sloppy kiss. To his credit, he doesn’t even flinch.”

UK webzine-turned-publisher Near To The Knuckle has been serving up essential reading for fans of short crime fiction for quite a while now, and it is always a thrill to have a new story published by Darren and Craig.

My latest short, Jailbait, went live at the weekend – I hope you enjoy it!

Jailbait Tom Leins Near to the Knuckle

The Graveyard Shift @ Akashic Books

“The grave is waist-deep when the cramps start. I feel them spasm up my arms and across my shoulders as the shovel slams into rock-solid earth.”

Last week saw my third ‘Mondays Are Murder’ story go live on the Akashic Books website: The Graveyard Shift.

My Akashic stories have been set in Paignton (Paignton Rust), Guatemala City (Guatemala Kill Pit) and now Plymouth, which feels like a rather bizarre mix!

Later in the week, the story was selected by the great Texas-based crime fiction site Mystery People as its ‘Crime Fiction Friday‘ pick. Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery praised my brand of ‘English nastiness’, and introduced the story by saying: “Lately it seems that Britain and hard boiled fiction go together. I don’t know if it’s the grey, rainy weather or the bad-ass working class accents, but British writers sure make it work.”

Suffice to say, it made my day!

Graveyard Shift Tom Leins

Zero Sum @ Spelk Fiction

“Caruso’s dead face was cracked like an old piece of linoleum. One of his eyes was half-shut, the other was totally destroyed.”

This month saw my 5th short story – Zero Sum – go live over at top UK flash site Spelk Fiction. It is always a real pleasure to be featured by Spelk – one of the most eclectic sites on the web!

Zero Sum Tom Leins