A Fine Kettle of Fish by Kaye George

FISH
A Fine Kettle of Fish by Kaye George
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (9 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed Astilbe

When a stranger walks into the neighborhood bar, The Fine Kettle O’Fish, Finn and the others aren’t sure what to think of him–at first.

Soon, it’s apparent that Malcolm, the new guy, is bothering everyone’s favorite striptease artist, Violet, who has had a rough time climbing out of the gutter. Something is lurking in Mal’s past, and something has to be done.

Sometimes alcohol is the greatest truth serum of them all.

Violet has endured more than her fair share of tragedies, and it is only with the support of her employer and the men who watch her striptease shows that she is slowly beginning to piece her life back together. Their nontraditional, chosen “family” caught my attention and my interest in the plot only grew stronger as their tight knit bonds are tested.

I figured out the twist in this tale almost immediately. As much as I enjoyed getting to know these characters I would have preferred to work harder to unravel the mystery. Introducing certain clues right before the climax instead of much earlier in the plot would have increased the suspense and made it more difficult for me to guess what was happening.

With that being said, I was not expecting to grow to like Fin, Violet, and the other bar patrons and employees as quickly as I did. This short story is clearly character driven, and the development of Fin in particular was fascinating. I don’t know if Ms. George is planning to write additional stories about Violet, Fin, and the rest of the employees and patrons of The Fine Kettle O’ Fish, but I would be interested in hearing more from them.

Despite my disappointment with how easy it was to discover the twist in this piece, the premise of A Fine Kettle of Fish is a strong one. This is a good choice for anyone drawn to stories that focus on getting to know a small number of characters quite well.

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