Jack Slater is the worst sort of criminal lowlife, a pursesnatcher who hangs out on cemeteries to relieve little old ladies of their handbags. But when he snatches Eudora Pennington’s purse, Jack gets far more than he bargained for.
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- Loot is a short story of 3200 words. This story is also available as part of the collection Murder in the Family along with seven other short crime stories.
- Loot is based on a true story, which happened to an acquaintance of my great aunt.
- When I showed my Mom the cover design and explained that Loot was a story about a thief preying on cemetery visitors, she immediately said, “Is that the story about the cat, by any chance?”
- Loot does violate a central principle of the mystery genre, namely the commandment “Thou shalt not kill dogs, cats or other pets”. Alas, poor Katrina dies in the very first paragraph and of old age at that, so I hope that all cat lovers out there will forgive me.
- Interestingly, Loot is the least violent of all the stories collected in Murder in the Family. The crime itself is not violent and apart from poor Katrina, no one dies.
- Aldi, whose shopping bags Eudora Pennington uses as a shroud for Katrina, is a discount supermarket chain commonly found in Germany and other European countries.
- The newspaper article about the supposed wealth of elderly people that Jack Slater cites is based on an actual newspaper article I read a while back. Knowing plenty of poor elderly people, I found the article silly even back then. And of course, Jack mangles all the articles he reads in the newspapers he finds.
- When I was a poor student in London in the mid 1990s, I actually did take home abandoned newspapers I found on the tube. Alas, I only took quality papers and never bothered with the tabloids.
- The cover image is a photo I shot at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.