By S. J. Rozan (Edited by)

Brand-new tales through: Thomas Adcock, Kevin Baker, Thomas Bentil, Lawrence Block, Jerome Charyn, Suzanne Chazin, Terrence Cheng, Ed Dee, Joanne Dobson, Robert Hughes, Marlon James, Sandra Kitt, Rita Laken, Miles Marshall Lewis, Pat Picciarelli, Abraham Rodriguez Jr., S.J. Rozan, Steven Torres, and Joe Wallace. S.J. Rozan was once born and raised within the Bronx and is a lifelong New Yorker. She’s the writer of 8 novels within the Lydia Chin/Bill Smith sequence, and of the stand-alones Absent neighbors and during this Rain (forthcoming). Her books have gained Edgar, Nero, Macavity, and Shamus awards for most sensible novel. She’s at paintings on one other sequence novel, Shanghai Moon.

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You’re lucky, I just lost a delivery man. ” “Yes. ” Mr. Liu peered at him for a few moments, then said, “You’re not a troublemaker, are you? We run a simple family business. ” “No,” he said. “No problems. But I need a place to stay. ” “Sure,” said Mr. Liu. ” After his final delivery of the day he rode back to the restaurant, the professor’s brochures folded and tucked in his pocket. He had never planned on being a deliveryman for the rest of his life, and so maybe it was fate, or a sign from the heavens that now was the time to move on.

The menu signs above the counter were off, leaving only the fluorescent lights from the kitchen aglow. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his keys, clenched them in his fist with the tips like metal spikes jutting between his fingers. He stepped in slowly, passed the front counter, peeked around the wall, then came to a stop, staring into the kitchen. Pans and bowls still filled with food, cartons half-open, spatulas and tongs left on the counters, as if they had evacuated in an emergency, the restaurant abandoned.

And maybe this was part of the luxury in coming to the Gold Mountain, where food was hearty and plentiful enough to fatten up even a skinny farm boy like himself. He turned on the television and watched the baseball game. The score was six to two, and only from the body language of the players could he figure out who was winning. When the score became ten to two he turned it off. He went to the closet and dug out the small suitcase hidden at the bottom beneath empty boxes and rags. He looked out the window, as if someone might be spying on him, then turned back to the suitcase and popped it open.

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