"Bill Posters Will Be Prosecuted"

In December 2017 -- as a sort of last hurrah before my knee-replacement surgery at the beginning of January 2018 -- Laurie and I flew to London for a week. Although I was walking with a cane and had to stop often to rest, we managed to do a lot, including visits with old friends Kathy Tidman and Gary Kissick, plenty of fish and chips in assorted pubs, two evenings of theatre, a ride on the London Eye, and half a dozen or more museums ... including the delightful Winnie the Pooh exhibit at the Victoria & Albert, the dinosaurs at the Natural History, and the Pharaoh Seti I exhibit at Sir John Soanes' House, just around the corner from our hotel on the edge of Lincoln's Inn Fields.

After leaving the V&A, we decided to walk up to Harrod's for a dekko, and I cracked up at the sight of a sign reading "Bill Posters Will Be Prosecuted" on a hoarding protecting a construction site from passersby.

"That's a story title," I said to Laurie, and within 48 hours of our returning home I'd written it -- my second-ever piece of what's called "flash fiction" -- and sold it to Mystery Weekly. You can buy the issue here, or, if you don't want to support small-press crime fiction and pay the five measly bucks, you can read the complete 900-word story by clicking on "Look Inside" and paging forward.

(FYI, my first-ever piece of flash fiction was "Father Knows Bets," published online only at the Shotgun Honey website.

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