At The Book Smugglers: “The Price You Pay is Red”

Rejoice! (Or whatever.) “The Price You Pay is Red” (the sequel to “The Case of the Little Bloody Slipper”) is HERE, sort of like an early birthday present, only it’s one I made myself and then submitted to The Book Smugglers by saying, “Please please PLEASE fix this because I can’t gift wrap for shit.” And then they gave it back to me, all super nice and spiffy, and simultaneously offered it to the world so that everyone might enjoy it, or else find it wanting. What I’m saying here is that I hope you read the story, and I hope you like it and have fun, but if it doesn’t work for you . . . sorry, and maybe we can post our harsh critiques on any day that ISN’T this Saturday?

Here’s the abbreviated summary, stolen once again from The Book Smugglers:


The story is available to read for free at the link above. (You can also read about my inspiration for this story here.) OR, at the same link, you can download “The Price You Pay is Red” on your e-reader of choice for ($2.99). The eBook comes with exclusive content, like Case Files, a Q&A with yours truly, and–most importantly–“The Girl Friday Blues,” a bonus short story from Jack’s POV.

Happy reading!

3 thoughts on “At The Book Smugglers: “The Price You Pay is Red”

  1. I liked this a lot – even more than the first one, I think. Although today my intermittent hip pain came with a side of numb leg, and your description of the first symptoms of the plague is making me paranoid. You sick bastard. (No, it’s cool – I’m mostly paranoid about it being other diseases that actually exist, and I’m going to see a doctor next week anyway.)

    One question – in the dinner table conversation, I was confused by Nguyen’s line “All men except one woman, dressing up like a bird so she could serve”? What does “bird,” mean in this context? I’ve only heard it to mean the winged creature, something to be flipped at people, or a slang term for a woman. But that sentence only makes sense to me if it was a slang term for a dude instead? IDK if this is just me not understanding noir-speak – I did have to google a couple of terms elsewhere in the story.

    • YAY! Well, not yay for your pain, obviously. I hope that improves and that your doctor finds a totally rational, mundane, not awful explanation for it. I am relatively sure that you don’t have my super fictional plague, the one that I considered making more realistic and then just decided to use whatever symptoms I felt like and to hell with if they went together.

      In this context, bird means ‘man.’ It’s interesting because I’ve mostly heard it as a slang term for women myself, but I read multiple glossaries that had it listed for a man, so I went with it. (Also: goose. I should just start using all species of bird for boys.)

      • Thank you. I think it’s just femoral anteversion, which means my leg bones are twisted, though I dunno why it went away after puberty and then came back. It’s long-term but manageable, so I’m more concerned that something else might be the cause. Like Pins-&-Needles! I’ll have to print out your story so I can show my doctor what the symptoms are.

        Ah, gotcha. Thank you.

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