Table of Contents

Summer 2008

From The Editor

Letter from Sandra Ruttan

Short Stories

Amra Pajalic

The Game

The Old Man

The Vow

The Other Shoe

Patrick Shawn Bagley

Bank Job

John McFetridge


Russel D. McLean

Her Cheating Heart

Steve Mosby


Grant McKenzie

Out Of Order

Patricia Abbott



Damien Seaman

Love In Vain

Ugly Duckling

Steve Allan

Hump The Stump

Stumpy's Revenge

You and Me and Stumpy Makes Three

Stephen D. Rogers

Head Shot

Richard Cooper

Simmer Time

Sandra Seamans


Allan Guthrie


Brian Lindenmuth


Tony Black

London Calling

Brian McGilloway

Spoonfull of Sugar


Damien Seaman with Tony Black

Reviews by:

Sandra Ruttan

Savage Night

The Cold Spot

Brian Lindenmuth


The Crimes of Dr. Watson

Half the Blood of Brooklyn

Crimson Orgy

Mad Dogs

The Resurrectionist

Sharp Teeth


Black Man


Hip Flask: Concrete Jungle


At the City's Edge


Small Favor


Book Excerpts

Toros & Torsos
by Craig McDonald

Paying For It
by Tony Black

Dirty Sweeet
by John McFetridge


The Graveyard Shift: blog by Lee Ofland

Blog Profile: The Graveyard Shift

A guide to all things cops and robbers

A blog for writers by Lee Ofland

Dead bodies, cops, killers, the death penalty, microscopic murder, and crime scene evidence. Those are some of the topics I serve up as part of my daily menu on The Graveyard Shift, a blog I write that’s exclusively for writers.

I came up with the idea for the The Graveyard Shift after conducting research for my book on police procedure (Police Procedure and Investigation, A Guide For Writers – Writers Digest Books). Since I wanted to use real-life, current photographs in the book, I set out with camera-in-hand to call on police departments, coroners, medical examiners, prosecutors, and judges across the country. I also recruited a few police officers to assist with the photo-taking.

The result was over 1,500 pictures of police equipment, patrol officers, detectives, SWAT units, undercover officers, canines, courtrooms, morgues, bodies, crime scenes, jails, prisoners, laboratories, and a few all-round bad guys. Out of those 1,500 photographs, Writers Digest Books used less than ninety for the book. The rest were collecting dust while sitting idle in my files.

I get emails—sometimes hundreds—from writers every day, asking about various police procedures and crime scene investigations; questions like, what kind of tools do cops use to perform their investigations, what’s a dead body look and feel like, can things like pepper and coffee throw a drug dog off-track, and what does a bullet wound look like?

I’m also asked similar questions at every writer’s conference and workshop I teach. So, me being the great investigator that I am, thought the best way to answer those questions would be in a public forum, complete with photographs. Thus, the birth of The Graveyard Shift, a free online writer’s workshop.

Another reason I really wanted to do the blog is because I want my fellow writers to have the best and most accurate information that’s available. It truly bothers me to see some of the bad advice and information I’ve seen floating around in the various online discussion groups, and there are many. Of course, there are sites with brilliant experts who are offering wonderful information, too.

With that said, I’m really excited about the growing list of guest experts who’ve generously offered to share their knowledge on The Graveyard Shift. Future guest bloggers include Robin Burcell, author and forensic artist; Jim Born author and police officer extrordinaire, Leslie Budewitz author/attorney who also writes the popular Law and Fiction column; Gwen Haugen (forensic anthropologist who worked at Ground Zero and in Iraq). Gwen was also a speaker for SinC’s Forensic University, Dr. Denene Lofland, microbiologist in the biotech field and expert on bioterrorism, and Gloria Louise Nusse. Gloria is a world renowned forensic facial reconstruction expert whose expertise and talents have helped solved several murder cases. She’s also been featured on the television shows such as 48 Hours.

I’m also pleased that we’ll be joined by many police officials who have agreed to share their years of expertise and experience. The first round of officers includes, Sgt. John Howsden (patrol) of California, Lt. Dave Swords (investigations) of Ohio, Sgt Josh Moulin (high-tech crimes) of Oregon, and Joyce Tremel of Pennsylvania. Joyce also blogs with mystery author Nancy Martin and a few others on The Working Stiffs.

We’re also going to branch out a bit in April by having top literary agents and editors stop by to answer questions. First up will be Janet Reid of FinePrint Literary Management, followed by Scott Hoffman, owner/agent with Folio Literary Management, and Lucienne Diver with Specturum Literary Agency. Also, I’m honored to say that publisher Ben LeRoy of Bleak House Books will be stopping by to share a few words of wisdom about what he’s looking for in a great book. He should know what’s good because he published three Edgar nominees last year. Congratulations to those guys, too—Reed Farrell Coleman, Craig McDonnell, and my good friend, Stuart Kaminsky.

I invite everyone to stop by The Graveyard Shift to share in the fun.

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