The Mesdames of Mayhem launched the print edition of their newest anthology, Thirteen O’clock, on Sunday, October 25th at Sleuth of Baker Street. All the Mesdames were there to read tantalizing excerpts from their stories and sign copies of the book.
M.H. (Madeleine) Callway, the founder of the group, welcomed everyone and thanked Marian Misters and J.D. Singh for, once again, opening their doors to us and to our relatives, friends and fans. The Mesdames set out an amazing selection of food and drink for our guests. Ted Carrick, a talented young musician, son of our publishers Alex and Donna Carrick, provided background music on his guitar.
The theme of the book is “time” but the fourteen writers have interpreted it in many different ways. Joan O’Callaghan’s tale of suspected witchcraft, “Thrice the Brinded Cat”, is set during the Middle Ages. Sylvia Maultash Warsh evokes 1970s Toronto in “Life is a Big Headache”. Ed Piwowarczyk , our token monsieur, is definitely writing about the present in “Life Lesson”, where the need to cut jobs creates a deadly rivalry. Melodie Campbell provides a glimpse into the future in “The Test of Time”. And Cheryl Freedman takes us to a very warped fairy tale land in “Mirror, Mirror.”
Other stories hinge on time running out. Rosemary McCracken’s Pat Tierney must act quickly to save a life in “Nick of Time.” In Catherine Dunphy’s “Beat the Clock”, a life is also on the line. M.H. Callway’s heroine in “Glow Grass” comes to realize that she may have very little time left. And Jane Burfield, in the story “Hidden”, uses just over 300 words to get us inside the mind of a woman, waiting for a decision.
Time passes and people change with age. Rosemary Aubert, in “The Bench Rests” and Lynne Murphy in “Being Leda Fox” write about memories, affected by time. Memories that haunt and drive people to crime is a theme in Donna Carrick’s ”The 14th of Forever.” And Catherine Astolfo’s senior protagonist in “Pulling a Rabbit” has just got tougher with age. In “Troubled Times” by Lisa de Nikolits a young woman realizes how her family’s dark past influences the present.