A thief walks into a bookstore…
A fictional character walks into a bookstore and asks to see the guy who dreamed him up. It’s not the set up to a joke; it’s the plot of the winner of 57th Street Books‘s Parker Flash Fiction contest.
Back in May, we told you about the score: the best 350-word story would win a set of all twelve gorgeously designed reissues of Richard Stark‘s crime thrillers from the University of Chicago Press and publication on The Front Table, the webzine of The Seminary Co-op Bookstores.
Parker, though famous for his dangerous crimes and daring escapes, had not been known to lurk around bookstores—until now. Check out the third place entry—which finds Parker stealing a first-edition copy of The Hunter, the book in which Stark introduced Parker for the first time—and the runner-up—where there tables are turned and Parker foils, rather than commits, a heist—before getting to the winner.
And if those short inventions leave you craving more Parker, the next three additions to the series—Deadly Edge, Plunder Squad, and Slayground—will be out next month. In the meantime, read an interview with the author, the master mystery writer Donald Westlake (who wrote the series under the pseudonym Richard Stark), or any of our previous posts about Parker, his fans, and his champions.