Maybe not everyone wants to know how Jason and my trip to Kansas City went, but several folks did ask, being that we were driving into a snowstorm and all that. The good news is that we arrived at Iowa City just as the snow started, and left just after it ended, leaving enough time for all the major roads to be plowed. On first glance, it doesn't appear that this storm was one for the record books (and by the way, it appears from this news story that they were referring to a record snowfall for this particular date). The total for the airport is just over 9 inches. We did pass a number of cars that had been stranded on the side of the highway.
Jason wound up driving most of the way, partly because he loves to drive and also because he can't read in a car while I can. I chose to bring along Kansas City Noir (Akashic), edited by Steve Paul, which I picked up in Washington DC (though Boswell carries it too). There are short pieces from Daniel Woodrell, Nancy Pickard, John Lutz, and more. I'm enjoying reading it, though I must admit that they might not be the best travel reading, being that you start getting the feeling that the city is awfully violent. I guess if that's the way I was going to react, I should have read Kansas City Smooch Fest (Harlequin, June 2013, $15.95). This is the second in the "Noir" series that I have read, and reading short fiction in the genre reminds me that there are two ways to go about this and the authors seem evenly divided as to which works best. Some write their pieces as traditional short stories, adding mystery elements, while others use the format of a traditional mystery/thriller and edit it down to short fiction length. Which works better? I have no idea--I've read good examples in either format (and yes, duds too).
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