Sticky Fingers: 36 Twisted Short Stories by JT Lawrence is presented as The Complete Box Set Collection because the set contains Volumes One, Two, and Three of volumes titled Sticky Fingers. For some strange reason, I started reading the series with Volume two, followed that with Volume Three, and never got around to reading Volume One. This review will look at the stories in Volume One. I reviewed Volume Two here https://ron877.com/2018/07/23/stories-that-stick-to-the-mind/ and Volume Three here https://ron877.com/2018/07/25/dark-humor-and-mirrors/. The one story that I felt not up to the usual great writing in Volume One, Grey Magic, does not stop me from giving this volume, as was with the other two, five Amazon stars.
There is added fun with this collection when listening to the audiobook on Audible. I listened to the entire set despite having already read most of the stories. I will post a separate review on Audible to give credit to the story readers.
The Volume One stories:
Bridge Gate ***** Emily writes a series of letters to her father beginning at age 11 and ending at age 16. She does not quite understand where Dad is, just that it is at a place called Bridge Gate, he can’t come home, and it is not a Bed and Breakfast. At age 16, Emily is happy. She will finally be able to travel with Mom on a visit to Dad. Or maybe not.
The Itch ***** Sam has a need to scratch a physical itch. The itch can be on any part of the body but the most serious part of this story is the head. She scratches through skin and bone. Sam has conversations with her favorite adviser, one who lives inside her head. Is this an adversarial relationship or is the voice an ally? Read this one carefully and make up your mind.
The Unsuspecting Gold Digger ***** She was not rich. Byron was rich. They were similar in age but there would always be speculation that the marriage was for money. She got used to the money and couldn’t imagine living without it. She also couldn’t imagine leaving Byron, but he was becoming insufferable to live with. She thought she found the perfect way to solve her problem. Until Byron wrote her one final note.
Travelling Slacks ***** Travelling Slacks is the name of a travel writer/blogger. Jeff is not a professional critic, but he is careful to always submit reviews to the staff of places where he stayed. He prizes his ability to submit completely honest reviews to those places that meet his one most important criterion. The staff must fulfill his every whim without hesitation or complaint. Suzy disagrees.
Something Borrowed ***** Wedding dresses are ageless. People who wear them, not so much. Emily will never forget her wedding day, she will relive it many times. Her sister Ruth will beg for forgiveness. Many times.
She Did It ***** Was this Munchausen syndrome? What is Munchhausen syndrome? Does it apply here? An interesting investigation into the mind of a confessed killer.
Grey Magic ***** I got completely lost in this story. This is, for me, the uninteresting story I referenced above. I have no idea what the author’s purpose or thought was with this story.
Pigeon Pair ***** Edward and Juliet have a problem with homing pigeons. Edward and Juliet think they are living in their own home, one which Edward is quite proud of. The pigeons think differently.
The Little Pink Book ***** Maybe her name was Susan, but it didn’t matter. Her name, her clothes, her hair, and her demeanor changed each time she moved to a new town. Working as a midwife assured her she would never be unemployed. June was the latest person Susan attended. After June gave birth, “Susan” would move on. There were over five hundred successful births recorded in her book.
Off The Hinge ***** See if you can find a connection between this story and the one above. I found the possibility of such a connection made this story and the one above more interesting.
Sticky Fingers ***** This story is the evolution and fall of a “career” kleptomaniac. And it illustrates a piece of advice. “Hold your friends close; hold your enemies closer.”
Escape ***** He may be a small child, but he will fight to the death to know who he is. Why won’t people call him by the correct name?
JT Lawrence stories are worth reading or listening to more than one time. I look forward to reading more of this author’s writing.