Monday, September 30, 2013

Opening Credits: CITIZEN KANE

What is the worst film by a great director(s)?

Even the best directors have one misfire in their resume. Sometimes it's early on but in the two cases I mention, it was not.
I am thinking of two: LADYKILLERS by the Cohn brothers and PRET A PORTER by Robert Altman.
Can you top those?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Night Poetry: Louise Gluck


                                                        "GIRL OF GREAT PRICE"
When I was a kid, I learned to write on an old manual typewriter. My first novels were messy, full of typos and plot holes. But they were fun. And at age 15, that's what it was all about.

Private eye Charlie Madison was one of my first characters, and The Double Murder was his big debut—over a hundred pages of snappy banter, mob hits, double-crossing dames, car chases, and even some alligators. A horrible parody, it'll never see the light of day.

Halfway through Write1Sub1 2011, I came up with the first story about Charlie I'd written in decades. It wasn't anything like his original case, but he was the same quick-witted, intrepid detective. I subbed "Girl of Great Price" to Criminal Element, assuming I'd receive a form letter rejection in two months, tops. Instead, Claire Eddy (TOR Books) emailed informing me that she was my editor on this project. After I picked myself up off the floor, I went to work, and my story was eventually included in the Girl Trouble anthology.

"Girl of Great Price" is the first in a future noir detective series. The sequel, Immaterial Evidence, is now available from Musa Publishing.

BIO:  Milo James Fowler is a teacher by day, speculative fictioneer by night. Stop by anytime:

Saturday, September 28, 2013



As a 1972 model h. sapien, I have spent roughly half my life pre-internet and half post-internet (as of...NOW).  I use the technology happily and frequently, but I still have enough perspective to look at some of our toys with a certain detachment.
One morning, I was the last person to get on the bus.  A young woman who had a seat saw an older, fatter person carrying both a laptop bag and a lunchbox, and offered me her seat.  I protested, but she politely insisted, and I took it, with much gratitude.  She stood in the aisle in front of me during the ride.  She was on her smart phone during the entire time, using the Facebook app.  As I watched, for a 20 minute ride, she simply hit like, like, like, scrolled, hit like, like, like, scrolled, etc.
I was a bit appalled, because here was a very nice, polite young lady, intelligent and with good moral values (from all that I could see), who was reduced to a carpal-tunnel-risking adjunct of a Facebook app.  (Yeah, yeah, she could have been having the greatest time in the world doing that, but I made a superficial judgment at that time.  Besides, since I've established my own Facebook account, I've seen the Tyranny of the Clicks up close.)
The wheels started turning, and I thought of all of the ways people could trust technology too much.  At first it suggested the "Cautionary Tale" science fiction story (I've been published in that genre), but then I thought, "what if the one beguiled by the technology isn't a good person?  The 'Just Desserts' story....?"  I dropped the science fiction angle.  Instead, it would be a crook who trusted in his own IT prowess too much.  No doubt, I was influenced by any number of those news stories about loss of privacy on the internet and identity theft. 
Then, one day, starting a new story, I wrote the line: "The woman who fired me has a lovely daughter." 
All of which goes to show that the final story can run far afield from the original inspiration.

Eric Cline was born in Independence, Missouri, a city saturated with memories of and monuments to President Harry S. Truman. It was in an Independence thrift store that Eric’s mom purchased him children’s science fiction books by “Paul French,” a.k.a. Isaac Asimov. Eric went on to devour all of the books in the Mid-Continent Public Library. Eric holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English, and once considered teaching as a profession. He has waited tables at a total of three restaurants. He was at the last restaurant after he got his master’s degree, which gave him some indication of how well teaching would pay. He now works in an office and writes on evenings and weekends. After a fitful original attempt to write, Eric turned his attention to reading, work, and study, before returning to writing with a vengeance in 2007. He, his wife, and his three dogs live in Maryland

Friday, September 27, 2013

How "Bout a Car Chase; THE SEVEN UPS


We can't begin to tell you how excited we are -- we just learned that our newest book, THE SECRET LIVES OF MARRIED WOMEN by Elissa Wald, is featured prominently on the cover of next week's issue of the New York Times Book Review!  

The book hits stores on October 8, just two days after the Times review comes out, and it's a terrific one -- one of the best-written books we've ever had the privilege to publish and one that'll stay with you a long time after you turn the final page.  It's about two sisters whose lives are transformed by moments of violence, and who discover secrets about themselves that trouble and disturb them...but also tempt them...

And like Elissa Wald's previous books (HOLDING FIRE and the erotic cult classic MEETING THE MASTER) it is about the psychology and sexuality of submission, a topic she writes about with passion, clarity, and deep conviction. It's really quite breathtaking.  Daniel Bergner, author of the recent bestseller WHAT DO WOMEN WANT?, writes, "THE SECRET LIVES OF MARRIED WOMEN pulls back the veil.  It's a page-turner that's propelled forward -- relentlessly -- by a search for truth about desire.  Elissa Wald's unflinching vision makes for addictive reading."  This is Elissa's first new book in 12 years, and it's a stunning comeback.

I hope you'll give the book a look.  We're so excited to see this book on the cusp of big things, in exactly the way it deserves. 

Charles Ardai
Editor, Hard Case Crime

Friday's Forgotten Books: PATRICIA HIGHSMITH DAY

Here is Patricia Highsmith on Desert Island Discs

Patricia Highsmith was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1921 and spent much of her youth abroad. Her first novel was STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (later a Hitchcock film) and that set the bar high indeed. Her most popular character was Tom Ripley who appeared in five books but Highsmith did not gain the success she deserved in the U.S. Possibly she was too dark of a writer for that time. The author of more than 20 books, she earned many awards in her lifetime including the Edgar Award and an award from the Crime Writer's Association of Great Britain. She died in 1995.

Patricia Highsmith 's Snail Obsession by Kelly Robinson

Here is a fun site, put together by Highsmith's Publisher: W.W. Norton.  You can figure out through this what Highsmith is for you. Also a nice video on there.

Small g: A Summer Idyll by Patricia Highsmith (Review by Deb)

Patricia Highsmith’s Small g: A Summer Idyll was published posthumously in 1995.  In fact, it had been rejected by Highsmith’s publisher just a few months before her death.  Perhaps the publisher found the book so atypical for Highsmith that they weren’t sure how to market it.  Certainly it does not contain the oppressive sense of dread and foreboding that is a hallmark of much of Highsmith’s work.  With its roundelay of love affairs and heartbreak involving a large number of people, Small g put me in mind of some of Iris Murdoch’s novels of the early 1970s (without the philosophical trappings, however); and I think this work, as unlike anything else that Highsmith ever wrote, is a fitting coda for her body of work and perhaps even goes some way toward humanizing a woman who even her closest friends had to admit was a very difficult and demanding person.
Set in Switzerland during the 1990s, Small g covers a few eventful summer weeks in the lives of an interconnected group of lovers, friends, and acquaintances—some gay, some straight, some still finding their way—who live and work in the same Zurich neighborhood.  The hub of this circle is a local restaurant-bar called Jakob’s, designated in local guide books with a lower-case g to indicate it caters to a mixed gay and straight clientele.
Most of the events in the book are filtered through the perceptions of Rickie Markwalder, a middle-aged commercial artist who is still recovering from the grief of losing his young lover, Peter, to a stabbing some months before.  Police believe Peter was the random victim of a botched robbery committed by drug addicts looking for money, but Rickie is not so sure.
Within Rickie’s circle is Luisa Zimmermann, a young apprentice seamstress who has run away from an abusive family and was in love with Peter.  Although her love for Peter was unrequited, Luisa remains close to Rickie, at first because it helps her feel closer to memory of Peter, but eventually she and Rickie become good friends.  This friendship is a morale booster for Luisa, who lives with and works for the dominating Renate Hagnauer, an ugly homophobe who none-the-less spends several hours a day at Jakob’s.  By a combination of emotional blackmail and controlling the purse strings, Renate keeps Luisa under her thumb.  Renate also poisons the mind of Willi, a mentally-disabled handiman who repeats and believes the gossip and rumors (which almost always reflect badly on gay individuals) that Renate relays to him.
Into the mix come some more people:  Teddie Richardson, a young Swiss-American man who becomes an object of both Rickie’s and Luisa’s affection; Dorrie Wyss, a vivacious lesbian who finds Luisa attractive; and Freddie Schimmelman, a married, bisexual policeman who begins an affair with Rickie.  Freddie is presented in an interesting way--his marriage and his other relationships are depicted in a very matter of a fact manner; his sexuality hardly an issue.
With the main characters in place, and lots of others in supporting roles, the story can begin in earnest.  It all starts with an attack on Teddie Richardson and Rickie’s single-minded pursuit of the culprit. Freddie uses police connections to help prolong interest in a case that the police would undoubtedly have allowed to go cold.  The reader knows who attacked Teddie (and Rickie has very strong suspicions), but will the police ever have sufficient evidence to charge the person?  Meanwhile, Luisa must skulk around, making secret telephone calls and even using Rickie as a go-between in order to meet with either Teddie or Dorrie, or even to slip out of the apartment for a cup of coffee with someone other than Renate.  It all sounds a bit soapy, but Highsmith’s sure hand and attention to detail keep the plot running efficiently.
If I have a quibble with the book it’s that we really never see into the emotional lives of the characters; we can only guess at their motivations.  We can deduce that part of Renate’s homophobia (and overbearing, protective attitude toward Luisa) may stem from her own suppressed lesbianism, but Renate never reveals that aspect of herself.  Also, we can infer that Rickie pursues Teddie’s attacker because Peter’s killer(s) were never caught, but Rickie never lets that element of his pursuit come to the forefront of his emotions.
At this point, I must also address an act committed by Rickie’s doctor that is so unconscionable as to be both illegal and baffling [SPOILER]:  The doctor tells Rickie that he is HIV-positive and allows him to continue believing this for several months, even though the doctor knows this is not the case.  The fact that both the doctor and Rickie (and, apparently, by extension, Highsmith herself) think that what the doctor has done is fine and “for the patient’s own good” is mind-boggling to me and reinforces my belief that, whatever her virtues as a writer, Patricia Highsmith is not someone I could have personally liked.
Eventually, an accidental death, sets the plot spinning into an entirely different orbit.  Ends are tidied up a bit too neatly perhaps, but there’s a sense of the characters reaching certain points in their lives and have learned lessons (some rather harsh).  The summer idyll is over and life continues on even when the weather changes.


I walked into a fabulous bookstore in Chicago two weeks ago and found a stash of Highsmith novels and collections. I eventually chose LITTLE TALES OF MISOGYNY and put aside the novel I had intended to reread.
I am going to go against the grain here and say I found this collection largely dissatisfying-something I would never have thought possible.To me there is an art to a really short story-or flash fiction piece. For it to succeed with me, it has to be a character study, something with a real surprise at the end, something that is very atmospheric, or something funny. And in a collection, those goals take on an even greater importance.You cannot simply assign a laundry list of annoying traits to a character and call it a day.
These stories seemed too plot -driven to succeed. Plot-heavy succeeds best in novels for me. I can see that many people would find these pieces humorous, but coming from a female writer, I found  more than a hint of self-loathing or at least gender- loathing.
Women were punished for wanting too many children, for wanting too much sex, for wanting perfection, for being a prude, an invalid. But underneath all of their superficial traits was largely the same sort of woman: a narcissist who refused to see the world from any vantage point other than her own. Or the husband who was like this. 
And I wouldn't have minded that except the scalpel Highsmith uses cuts the same incision too often. There is a weary sameness to these tales. They are depressing in a way that Ripley never depressed me.

Other Highsmith reviews

Nick Jones, DEEP WATER
Randy Johnson, THE PRICE OF SALT
George Kelley, RIPLEY"S GAME
Kelly Robinson, ELEVEN
Richard Robinson, ELEVEN
Kevin Tipple/Patrick Ohle, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN

Other Reviews

Martin Edwards, BORN TO BE HANGED, Paul McGuire
Ed Gorman, CROSS COUNTRY, Herman Kastle
Margot Kinberg, NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK, Ernest Mallo
Evan Lewis, Books with Bones in the Title
Steve Lewis/William Deeck,DESIGN FOR MURDER, KUMMER
James Reasoner, THE CASE OF THE SLEEPWALKER'S NIECE, Erle Stanly Gardner
Gerard Saylor, BAD GUYS, Eugene Izzi
Ron Scheer,  WILD ONE, John Reese
Kerrie Smith, B IS FOR BURGLAR, Sue Grafton
Zybahn, IN THE SHADOW OF THE GARGOYLES, Kilpatrick, Nancy & Thomas S. Roche, eds.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Final Scene Lolita

Flash Fiction Day" ----Man's Tastes Gets Him Into Trouble.

                       FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE DAY
                                           THESE ARE THE STORIES THAT TURNED UP BY 9:AM. 


                                                          A.J. Wright

            The trains never stop in Riderwood anymore. Truth be told, no more trains even pass through here, either. I miss the trains and their warning whistles that started when they were about a mile out from the tiny station. The telegraph office where I worked was a lonely place most of the day and night, so the trains provided welcome distraction from my usual activities, reading and trying to write dime novels. Now and then, sometimes several times in one day, a citizen would actually come by to send or pick up messages. The favorite topic seemed to be someone’s death.
            One thing the trains always brought me was a new supply of reading material. I had no particular interest in the newspapers, although I read even those when desperate. The wanted circulars were interesting, a constant parade of robbers and murderers. The best items though were the dime novels. I got lost for hours in the exploits of heroes like Nick Carter or Buffalo Bill and the outlaw tales about the James Brothers or Rube Burrow.
            Another regular arrival on the Wednesday train besides the mail was a gentleman whose name I eventually learned was Mr. White. I never believed that name was real, but I did believe he was a gentleman even though he never dressed like one. He always arrived in the worn and dusty clothes of a hobo like the ones who sometimes waved from the cracked door of a freight car as the train began to leave the station. Those men never left the cars; Riderwood was too small for them. But not for Mr. White.
One Wednesday evening per month as the 9 o’clock train slowed to an eventual stop, I could see him jump down from one of the cars back near the caboose and disappear down the short alley between the drug store and the bank. The train crew never seemed to notice him, or at least never responded to his presence. Each time he walked with purpose and unlike any bum I’d ever seen.
            For months the pattern was the same. He would arrive, and I would watch him disappear. On the following Thursday night, as the train was slowing for its stop, I would see him pop out from between the two buildings and climb aboard a freight car with an open door. In between these events I would continue to man the telegraph office, send and receive occasional messages, and read my dime novels. I kept them under the counter in my office; if I ran out of new ones before the next delivery, I read some favorites again.
            After a while I began to wonder what Mr. White was doing in town for one 24-hour period every month.  I decided that the next time he arrived I’d follow him and see what was happening. Two weeks later I had my chance. A little after nine o’clock the train pulled into the station; and Mr. White jumped down from his car and headed into the alleyway. I had already closed up the telegraph office and quickly followed him as he walked away from the station.
            We were the only two people on the street as he headed across Main and down Walnut Avenue. He never slowed or looked back, but I stayed as far behind him as I could anyway. After only a few minutes I knew where he was heading—a two-story house on Walnut that belonged to a travelling salesman named Walter Richards. He must have been out of town because Annie Richards opened the door just as Mr. White reached the top of the porch stairs.
            Thus began a new phase in my knowledge about Mr. White. I knew now why Mrs. Richards came to the telegraph office once a month, always on a Tuesday, to send what I thought was an innocent message to a Mr. White in the city.  Her husband Walter was out of town much of the time; I frequently saw his comings and goings as I worked the telegraph office. Mr. White and his Riderwood lover must have decided that once-a-month meetings were all they should risk in our small town.
            That first time I watched from across the street as she let him inside and quickly closed the front door. I saw their shadows merge against a pulled window shade as they briefly embraced and then disappeared, no doubt heading up the stairs to a bedroom. I could imagine Mr. White carrying Annie in his arms and then watching her undress as he removed his own clothes. Over the next few months I imagined a lot of things going on between them. The heroes and villains of my dime novels no longer seemed quite as vivid or appealing.
             From time to time I suspected that Mr. White knew he was being followed from the station, but he never confronted me. I saw Mrs. Richards around town as often as before, and she was as nice and pleasant to me as ever. I thought of myself as the great protector of their secret; she had to be happier with Mr. White than with her husband, right? Otherwise, what was the point?
            Then one night the whole thing fell apart. I had followed Mr. White as usual and stood across the street after he had gone inside the house. I usually remained there for an hour or so, imagining, hoping for a glimpse of something. I was about to turn and go when I felt a large hand grip my left shoulder with a force that quickly began to hurt.
            “What’s going on here, boy?” I heard Walter Richards ask in a louder than normal voice. Before I could answer, he said, “I think I know.” I watched him in helpless fear as he walked to the front door. Finding it locked, he quickly kicked it open. By that time I had turned to run back toward the telegraph office, but I could still hear the trio of shots fired inside the second story of the house.
            I never saw Mr. White again. I heard later that a man dressed as a hobo had jumped to his death that night up the line from Riderwood. He turned out to be a wealthy lawyer from the city. In a few days they buried Mr. and Mrs. Richards in the town cemetery. I remained working for a long time at the telegraph office, reading dime novels and imagining things.

By Gabe Bosworth
"The filet was far too tough for my taste. On several occasions I paused to ensure all dental work was still intact," Mr. Mantini read aloud from the food section of The Seattle Times.
Julian, sitting before him a little cowed, still took a moment in the recitation to savor the bite of his own prose.
"The paté was gritty and of an alarming color; certainly more gruesome than toothsome, and perhaps the lowest of the many low points an evening at Mantini's Chophouse & Grill promises" read Mr. Mantini, jumping ahead to his favorite passage. He had affected his best effort toward a royal British accent.
Julian began to recite: "Mr. Mantini, while I can see that this was not the review you were expecting, I would also hope you can appreciate the invaluable service I have provided by offering a forthright outsider's assessment of the fare here - ” Mantini held a beefy paw in the air for silence and got it.
“Jim Gleason was supposed to write this review. I spoke to Jimmy personally last week. We decided he loved the paté Couldn’t get enough of it.”
“Jim got laid off,” Julian said with an understudy’s practiced remorse. “The Times may be the only daily left in town, but it’s still a newspaper.”
“That’s a tough business” Mantini agreed.
“As is that of a restaurateur ,” Julian said, “but with a capable consultant on board, there is real potential here. I’ve taken the liberty.” He placed an expertly bound resumé between them. “My hourly is on the back page. It may be a little more than you had to advance Jim Gleason, but I bring more to the table" - here he patted the tabletop so that his pun would not go unnoticed - "than just a favorable review; I understand your foremost charge here is providing a singular gastronomical experience for your patrons.”
"My foremost charge here," said Mantini, leaning forward with a phlegmy stage whisper that filled the empty dining room, "is collecting every dollar from every girl I have walking on a street or dancing on a stage from Columbian Way to the north end of 99, and running them promptly, cleanly, and--above all--taxably through tickets in this cafeteria. A practice, by the way, that won't pass two fucking annual audits when we are printing up checks to a dining room that has been emptied by hatchet jobs like this." Mantini rattled the newspaper over his wide belly. He was no longer whispering.
  Julian was turning a milky white around the brow and collar. 
"You seem to have made it your foremost charge to provide an exceptional gastronomical experience for my patrons." Mantini paused just long enough for his bile to lower. "And, as a successful business owner, I always reward ambition with opportunity."
Two large men were already standing behind Julian. He twitched into himself like a cornered animal.
"I should mention," Julian lied, addressing primarily the exit, "that I have sold a similar review to the Seattle Weekly and, with my in-person recommendation of course, I could see that certain details be added, others...trimmed?"
"Steve and Kev will show you what we'd like cut," said Mantini.
"Far too tough for my taste," said Steve. His voice echoed in the nighttime emptiness of the kitchen. There was a pop and some wet tearing sounds.
"More gruesome than toothsome," Kev said in Mantini's singular British accent. He underhanded a glistening purple lump into a stainless steel organ grinder with the other offal. They looked at each other for a moment and then just about lost it, finally trading loud giggling shushes before getting back to work. 

Michigan Man’s Tastes Get Him Into Trouble
by Patti Abbott

Daniel was not a gastronome at birth, but it wasn’t long before the word was applicable. Stories detailing incidents of his superior palate as a toddler were numerous. He learned his skills at the side of the finest cook he’d ever met—his mother. 

“Too much rosemary?” she’d ask him before serving the holiday dinner. 

The aroma of roasted poultry was intoxicating to her young son, even if the chicken was a tad over-infused with garlic. She held the fork out, having stolen the smallest tidbit from the underside of a breast. 

“More lemon. And a pinch more marjoram.”

“Brilliant,” she said, after tasting it.

Daniel’s early reading matter was the work of James Beard, and by twelve, he’d successfully replicated Beards’ recipes. He taught himself French to study the work of Escoffier, the author of Le Guide Culinaire, and inventor of the five mother sauces. Daniel aspired to the title bestowed on his mentor: roi des cuisiners et cuisinier des rois.(king of the chefs and chef of the kings). 

This was unlikely however since he rarely cooked for anyone other than himself. 

Eventually Daniel came on the idea of using the finest ingredients available to create an contemporary version of the five sauces. Quelle drole to confine oneself to ingredients as prosaic as butter, garlic and cheese. He would turn Escoffier’s codification on its ear. 

The first four sauces were unparalleled successes. His fruit sauce featured Dansuke watermelons and Yubari cantaloupes, the world’s most expensive melons. A curry was composed of Devon crab, Beluga caviar, Scottish lobster, and quail eggs. A topping composed of caviar and goji berries made his eyes roll with pleasure, and his penultimate sauce, a dessert concoction, used 28 different imported cocoas, some formulated personally for him by chocolatiers.

His final sauce would use white truffles, available only a few months each year. The best were found in Italy, and especially in Alba. Traditionally the truffles had been ferreted out by pigs that, mysteriously, had the nose for it. But pigs also had the inclination to gobble down the white gold, sometimes destroying the entire yield. So pigs had mostly been replaced by dogs that were satisfied to feast on pedestrian treats rather than the truffles. 

“I should like to go along,” Daniel told the importer at the Eastern Market in Detroit. 

“To the airport to pick up your shipment?” 

“To Roccafluvione.” 

This was the town in the Le Marche region his supplier identified as a viable source.

“You mean to the marketplace there?”

Daniel drew an impatient breath. “No. I want to hunt them myself. I should like to smell the earth, to inhale the scent I’ve read about since childhood.” He paused. “And I want to hunt with pigs rather than the dogs. I have a preference for traditional methods.”  

He’d waited a long time for this day and he’d be damned it some mutt was going to tarnish the image of striding amidst the oak trees, pig in hand.

“It’s mostly forbidden,” said his importer. “You’ll have to make special arrangements.”

“I’m prepared to do whatever it takes.” 

Daniel opened his wallet. And eventually his bank account.

And so it was on a dark October day that Daniel and his guide, Bruno, and the Marco, the pig, set out into the hills.

“No one knows you are here?”

Daniel shook his head. 

“You must never speak of this excursion to anyone. Normally I’d ask you to wear a blindfold,” his guide said in excellent English. “But I doubt you will make a second trip.”

“No,” Daniel agreed. “This will be my only outing. Truthfully I am not fond of fungi. They tend to disagree with me, in fact.” His stomach was already rumbling.

“Then why this trip? We have perfected the shipment of truffles, you know.” 

Daniel explained his lifelong desire to hunt for the truffles that would complete his final sauce.

The man nodded knowingly. “I detest red wine. Yet I always drink a glass or two at my local tavern. The owner makes a point of giving me the best red wine in the house because of my profession,” he said, waving his arm around. “I know it’s good, but I’d much prefer beer.”

The pig, trudged on, only occasionally giving a half-hearted snort. He was very large and far uglier than Daniel had imagined.

“You will know you are amongst the truffles when we arrive. It will remind you of locker rooms back in school. Feet, sweat, testosterone, earth.” Bruno drew a breath and his chest expanded. “Marco has the area’s finest sense of smell. Much better than those damned dogs.”

Daniel smiled.

“So you’re going to eat only enough to see that this sauce is up to snuff, and then never touch them again,” Bruno said, after a while.

“That’s about the size of it,” Daniel said. “Just enough to ascertain I have met my objective.”

The oak trees towered above them, the forest growing denser as they walked. At last, Bruno glanced at Daniel, indicating with his eyes that the rope had been tugged by the eager pig. Using the stout stick, he made Marco back away. The three of them stopped. A nice stand of oaks towered over a pirate’s bounty of the white gold. 

The odor was overpowering, and Daniel suddenly felt light-headed. Perhaps it was not just eating fungi that made him ill: it could also be the smell. Without warning, he plunged headlong into the swell of truffles. 

The pig, angry at this unexpected blanketing of his greatest joy, jerked loose of the rope, immediately gobbling away at both Daniel and the truffles. Within seconds, a piece of Daniel and a piece of the white truffles co-mingled. A piece of leg, a piece of thigh. And so it went.

Bruno stood dumbfounded, trying to decide what to do. There was little choice, he thought, looking at the earth beneath him. Knowing the trouble this affair would cause, he and his pig, beaten hard with a stick, ran all the way home.

Sandra Seamans, HOW HUNGRY