"Death of a Bad Neighbor": Revenge is Criminal Edited by Jack Calverley: Review/Giveaway

Review by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a signed copy of the book and a link to purchase it. 

This is an anthology of fifteen short stories, all with the theme of what happens to that bad neighbor. Everyone has one, but how many people are willing to do something about it? At least fifteen, that’s how many! 


Robert Lopresti leads the way with Lambs and Wolves. Garmo is living out in the middle of nowhere, actually, hiding more than living. He’s in the witness protection program although he’s less careful than he should be about it. His handler was pretty ticked off to find out Garmo has a new neighbor, a nice lady, and she has a stalker. Of course, that isn’t exactly what’s going on, now is it? 


Steve Hockensmith follows with The Book of Eve (The First Mystery), the story of what happened in the Garden of Eden and who was truly at fault for the first murder ever. After all, when you’re the first humans created, there are only so many people you can blame and get away with it.

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Kevin Quigley is in the number three spot with The Woman Who Cried Cat. The new neighbor has sent the same note to everyone—Your cat has been in my garden. Of course, some of the recipients don’t even have a cat but for others, threats follow. As everyone should know, threats have consequences, sometimes much worse than the problem. 


Eve Elliot is up next with One Spye After Another. Poor Nigel. All he wants is peace and quiet, but his helpless little neighbor woman constantly needs one wee favor. Nigel is so focused on the way she annoys him, it never occurs to him that kind of thing works both ways. 


Dave Zeltserman introduces Mitch in Woops! Every neighborhood has one, a nosy neighbor who records all the comings and goings, the number of friends who drop by on a regular basis. Then they draw their own conclusions as to what is happening. Most of the time, they’re way off base. Once in a while, they’re right. 


Wendy Harrison’s A Little Power brings up the worst neighbor of all—the HOA spy. Home Owners Associations make rules designed to make each home look exactly like the rest, bland and boring. When the HOA president lets the ‘power’ of his office go to his head, it’s time for a major change. After all, some people have secrets to protect. 


Eve Morton moves us to an apartment house in Vengeance Takes a Holiday. When a single woman moves in down the hall, it’s only natural she’d strike up a conversation and that would lead to a meal and that would lead to…well, really, no one saw that coming, did they? 


Shiny Nyquist’s Sir Fergus Allison’s Bench leads the way to the garden, filled with benches, so peaceful—now. When Sharon’s brother-in-law shows up unexpectedly, that sense of peace is gone, but that’s okay. If one knows how to take advantage of change, the benefits are great.


Hilary Davidson offers story number nine, King of the Castle. Kate and Fletcher are in their dream home, a duplex, just not with a dream neighbor. Max Bode is a nightmare. He won’t repair anything, even if it impacts Kate and Fletcher’s side. That’s the problem with neglected repairs. Sometimes they lead to injuries. 


Marilyn Todd travels back to the Jurassic in Murder, She Chiselled. When Jagga starts his own band, the Rolling Boulders, it creates a rift with his best friend, Spruce. When Jagga turns up dead, it wasn’t his wild lifestyle that did him in. 


Warren Moore fills the eleventh spot with One of Us Is Dying. Ellen is nearly housebound. She’s able to get around but slowly enough to annoy her husband, so she doesn’t ask him to take her anywhere very often. New neighbors might provide some company but not after the wife takes a hearty dislike to Ellen’s dog. Really, something has to be done about that woman. 


Kay Hanifen is number twelve with Sweet as Satan’s Cookies. Tiffany’s new neighbor is Liz. As president of the HOA, Tiffany has certain standards to maintain, and Liz is definitely not one to follow the rules. It’s like living next door to the Addams family. Then Liz got rave reviews about her blueberry crumble cookies, which really, were not all that good. It’s the little things that are often the last straw, isn’t it? 


Nick Manzolillo takes us to New York City in No Good Key Left Behind. Ever lock yourself out of the apartment? The easiest way to get inside is to ask your neighbor if you can cut through their apartment to the fire escape. Of course, that can be a bigger problem than being locked out. 


L. C. Tyler moves us to London in Fifty Something. Mr. Smith is a freelance copy-editor who works from home. He leads a quiet life and likes it that way. When a friendly American moves in next door, well, that will just not do. As any editor knows, the devil’s in the details and that can be fatal. 


F. D. Trenton takes us from London to the country in I Found Me a Bigger Flea. Alan, at the behest of an old acquaintance, sets out to inspect a piece of property but is delayed at every turn—and the property is nothing like what he expected. And that was before he found out about the four unexplained deaths.


Death of a Bad Neighbor is a way to travel the world, time travel, experience apartment living, experience life in a duplex, and to put up with next door neighbors—and, ultimately, learn what to do about them when they get to be just too much. 

To enter to win a signed copy of Death of a Bad Neighbor, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "neighbor,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 7, 2023. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. Please include mailing address if you email. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! 

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Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won't see coming.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. What a great theme for an anthology! Count me in!

  2. I love to read short story collections and have added this one to my TBR list


  3. Sounds interesting. Anthologies are a great way to discover new authors.

  4. I can't imagine too many folks who don't relate to the topic of bad neighbors, even if we don't take the solution to extremes! Definitely anticipating!

  5. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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