M.W. Craven is a fantastic writer, especially the Washington Poe series (my favourite as the characters of Poe and Tilly are just so different but work extremely well together), but the Avison Fluke series is also great, at least in my opinion anyway – you will just have to read the books yourself to make up your own mind. His books are crime thrillers featuring the characters of Avison Fluke and the best crime fighting duo ever – Washington Poe and Matilda (Tilly) Bradshaw. After having read both series of books very recently I wanted more, and Mr Craven has obliged with a collection of three original Poe and Tilly short stories in a new eBook – Cut Short.
As mention, Cut Short is a collection of three original Poe and Tilly stories; The Killing Field, Why Don’t Sheep Shrink? and Dead Man’s Fingers.
In The Killing Field, Poe and Tilly are on holiday from the NCA (National Crime Agency) and are sitting down for breakfast (and arguing about Poe’s diet) trying to figure out what to do with the day when Poe receives a request for assistance at a Cumbrian airfield, an airfield that during the 2001 foot and mouth crisis was known as the killing field.
In Why Don’t Sheep Shrink? the story is set during a worldwide pandemic and Poe and Tilly are forced to self-isolate together for 14 days. To help pass the time Poe takes out an old unsolved hobby case that he has been trying to solve for years on and off – how can a man drowning in a bath in a locked room be murder? Tilly hadn’t looked at it before so can she help solve it during their lockdown?
In the final story, Dead Man’s Fingers, with the country still in lockdown Poe and Tilly enjoying a picnic at a nature reserve, there can’t be any mystery to solve can there? When Poe’s dog chases a rabbit they stumble across a 20 year old mystery that no one was investigating.
Overall, Cut Short is an interesting read but the stories really are very short with no real thrills or details. Cut Short is a book to pass the time when you have an hour to kill. Poe and Tilly and excellent characters and this book is something that will only interest fans of the Washington Poe series as using their background from the other books is what gives the characters depth in this one.
As I said, the stories are interesting and unique and will give you a giggle amongst the revulsion and sadness along the way – The Killing Field features a very unique, bizarre and gruesome story of double murder. It will leave you wondering how M. W. Craven comes up with these bizarre ideas.
Cut Short is definitely a book for Poe and Tilly fans, showing the characters developing a deeper bond and their very unique relationship.
RRP: £1.99 (Kindle)