John Steinbeck Box Set: “The Amiable Fleas” and “With Your Wings”
We’re proud to present the first English publication of John Steinbeck’s short story, “The Amiable Fleas.”
The new Steinbeck story, “The Amiable Fleas” revolves around a discerning cat named Apollo who serves as critic and confidant to the chef of a gourmet restaurant. Add in some family conflict and a restaurant critic and you have all the ingredients of a short comedic masterpiece.
From the humorous we shift to the sinister with “Final Interview” by the inimitable Joyce Carol Oates. It is a treat to publish such a prolific and influential writer, and Oates does not disappoint—offering a story about a burnt-out writer, a pathological youth, and a condescending journalist, all seemingly headed on a collision course. Also in this issue, Robin Yocum warns us not to underestimate an over-the-hill mobster with “The Last Hit,” and David Marcum, takes Holmes and Watson back to Dartmoor—of The Hound of the Baskervilles fame—to investigate a cold case in “The Dowser’s Discovery.”
For our spotlight interview we caught up with bestselling author and investigative journalist Hank Phillippi Ryan, who not only has earned critical and popular acclaim for her mystery novels, but has a reputation as one of the kindest and most gregarious mystery authors. Ryan shared experiences as an investigative journalist and offered a dose of pep for all those authors sitting on their manuscripts or trying to chase a trend.
The Strand’s holiday issue featured a short story by John Steinbeck that has never been published before and is a Strand exclusive. “With Your Wings” was written during World War II and has several of the characteristics which have made Steinbeck’s works classics; an evocative setting, lyrical prose, and his progressive world-view. We also have fiction by bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith, Max Allan Collins and Lyndsay Faye as well as an exclusive interview with Chelsea Cain.