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Knights in Tarnished Armor ($1.99) is a comedy of errors, er, letters. . . .
1. Letter to Sir Richard Amesbury, from Sir Anthony Grimston
My dear friend,
It should come as no surprise to you that the kingdom in an intolerable state. In all my years as a professional scoundrel and despoiler of maidens, I have never seen anything to equal this. I simply cannot do business.
The dearth of maidens is appalling, Richard, utterly appalling. How can I abduct a woman and threaten her with a Fate Worse Than Death if such a fate as already befallen her – and worse, she enjoyed it!
Worse, no self-respecting Knight in Shining Armor will rescue a besmirched maiden. I do not even get the somewhat dubious pleasure of besmirching them myself. They come to me pre-besmirched, as it were. My dragon is starving, and my estate is on the brink of bankruptcy.
Can you see any solution to this problem?
2. Letter to Sir Anthony Grimston, from Sir Richard Amesbury
It grieves me to say this, but things are no better on this side of the heroic fence. I have twenty strapping young Knights in Slightly Less Than Shining Armor, and every last one seems to be so busy despoiling the kingdom maidens he has a hard time keeping his lance straight, if you take my meaning.
I would offer to send you one for your dragon, but I fear none of them are virgin either. I fear a Fate Worse Than Death is entirely too pleasurable for our kingdom’s former maidens.
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B. Quick ($2.99) is a fun mystery that begins on the night of triumphal activity for the Society For The Elimination of Good Looking Blonds. At least that’s how it seems when literature professor Bill Yates interrupts a murder.
Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, What a Little Moonlight Can Do to You
Fall had been warm and rainy. The first snow of the year arrived in the Colorado Rockies late on Halloween night. To make up for its late arrival, it rushed in, eager and heavy, trying to make an unforgettable impression.
It caught me halfway between Cowpattie and Lythia Springs, driving my MG unsteadily along a rutted and narrow country road hemmed in by tall cliffs on either side.
One moment, all was clear under a moonlit sky and my only problem was the sign I’d just glimpsed, which warned DANGER: Rock Slides Next Five Miles. The next minute, the moon had vanished, curtains of snow fell all around, and I had to worry about causing a rockslide by crashing against the roadside cliffs.
Everything a palm or so beyond my windshield disappeared beneath snow. And the bourbon I’d drunk at the Halloween party at Bad Boys kept blurring my focus and giving me a suggestion of pink elephants in tutus and high heels can-can dancing at the edge of my vision.
The curls of my black wig brushed against the stiff expanse of my Elizabethan collar.
Three months short of my thirtieth birthday, a staid college professor in a little Colorado town, I had no business being out in weather like this, wearing a Shakespeare costume and a bit more than half-drunk.
But I didn’t have much choice. My hometown of Lythia Springs was three hours away from Bad Boys.
Well, an hour by highway or as the crow flew — three hours by backcountry roads as the closeted professor drove.
Bad Boys had thrown a Halloween party for its patrons. And the blond I was supposed to meet at Bad Boys had told me that I would look ravishing dressed as Shakespeare. My eyes — so I was told — burned with the same intensity and inspiration as in the portraits of the bard.
Then, predictably, I’d been stood up and left to get drunk on my own. You’d think I’d know my luck by now. . . .