Short stories

2023 was a year of shorts! I published four short stories in various anthologies. Check ’em out!

A Sampling of Sleuths: Discover a bingeworthy mystery author

This mystery anthology, arranged and edited by my colleagues at Thalia Press, features ten short stories by award-winning mystery authors that you may or may not have heard of. Sample a tale, discover a new favorite! Stories by:

  • Anne R. Allen
  • Michelle Bennington
  • Kate Flora
  • Lise McClendon – “A Tale of Two Vineyards”
  • Katy Munger
  • Gary Phillips
  • J.M. Poole
  • Sarah Shaber
  • Connie Shelton
  • Susan Slater

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Get Up Offa That Thing: Crime fiction inspired by the songs of James Brown, edited by Gary Phillips

How fun is this?! A full-on, funky mystery anthology of short stories inspired by the music of James Brown. I had a lot of fun watching old videos of Brown’s concerts– could that man move! My story is inspired by his song, ‘Hot Pants.‘ As one of a handful of women in this anthology, I felt compelled to write this one! (Confession: wore hot pants in my youth!) My story features a stripper trying to get out of the life. She was formerly billed as ‘Princess Hot Pants’ because she was so young and shy when she started at the pole. Does she successfully navigate the ‘straight’ world? Read on… and be delighted by the many, many fabulous stories inside. Including one by my partner in crime, Katy Munger!

[button link=”″ color=”pink” newwindow=”yes”] Get up offa that thing![/button]


A Bookworm of a Suspect

My short story, UNDER THE GUN, is included in this jam-packed anthology with 30 writers of mystery! In it Zoe Sexton, a mystery writer fighting with her muse and the blank page, goes to a book launch against her better judgment. When the author of the new book insults her, Zoe throws a glass of water in his face. Then… chaos breaks out! Find out what sort of ‘hot’ water Zoe gets herself into in this fun, cozy mystery short story.


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An Alix Thorssen short story makes an appearance in this charity anthology themed around small shops, LITTLE SHOP OF MURDERS. Alix’s Jackson Hole gallery serves that role here, when an old friend comes to town, looking for Alix’s old partner, Paolo. This story fits between ‘Painted Truth’ and ‘Nordic Nights’ in the series — so is essentially 2.5.

Read a blog post about my story here.

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The Obama Inheritance: Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir, edited by Gary Phillips. (2017) Winner of the Anthony Award for best anthology

My short story, Forked Tongue, is included is this far-out anthology of stories which riff on the conspiracy theories that grew out of the Obama years. So many conspiracies, so many lizard people! My story takes place in Montana, where I live, and features a secret force of undercover operatives called the “OO,” for Obama Operatives. Fake news, Russian spies, Edward Snowden and more… and a glimpse of a post-presidency Obama!

“Resistance takes many forms, particularly in the current political climate. Few methods of protest are as cheerfully strange and purposefully bizarre as THE OBAMA INHERITANCE.” ―The Washington Post

“It’s a commonplace these days to say that real life has become so unpredictable that it outstrips anything anyone could dream up in fiction. I think I’m guilty of having made that banal observation a few times. But that was before I read The Obama Inheritance, a collection of 15 stories so sly, fresh and Bizarro World witty, they reaffirm the resiliency of the artistic imagination.” ―Maureen Corrigan, NPR Fresh Air

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Indian Summer was included in an anthology (Deadly by the Dozen) and is now available on its own. A bit of western noir…

“the absolute stand out for me was `Indian Summer’ by Lise McClendon.  It was just fabulous – a great mix of good writing, good characters and a strong element of mystery. That story would stand out anywhere.” – Amazon reviewer

One reviewer says: “She did it again: grabbed our attention with the first sentences, and didn’t release till the end. Scenery painted with wide strokes and harsh colours, characters shown with very few details, still palpably alive. A real writer, if you ask me.”




Snow Train is a short story featuring Dorie Lennox, the Kansas City private detective in One O’clock Jump and Sweet and Lowdown. This story finds Dorie on a train, returning to Kansas City from St. Louis, caught in a late December blizzard. It’s 1941, two weeks after Pearl Harbor, and the US is still reeling from the sudden entrance into World War II. Read all about how the war has affected Dorie, and her surprise companion on the train.

Exclusively at Amazon. Now available in audio.


Honey-Trap-8-14-coverThe Honey Trap is a short story featuring Mimi Raynard from the Rory Tate thriller, JUMP CUT. It’s included in Dead of Winter, an anthology of crime shorts by the Thalia Press Authors Co-op crew and was edited by Katy Munger and Lise McClendon.

Available as a single title on Amazon.

The Honey Trap takes place before the events of Jump Cut, when Mimi was working with her ex-husband, both reporters at a Seattle television station. A blizzard hits Seattle, effectively shutting down everything, but Mimi is able to get to the Queen Anne coffee shop where an inside source to a sports scandal waits to tell all the dirty details.




 The short story, The End of the World (As We Know It), was included in the 2005 anthology, Murder in Vegas. The International Association of Crime Writers and New York Times-bestselling author Michael Connelly have gathered twenty-two crime and mystery stories about the ultimate playground, Las Vegas, and what can happen behind the glitz and glamour. From a gambler who must-must-win at the roulette table to stay alive to a courier who’s only mistake was accepting a package with Las Vegas as the final destination, come to the true city that never sleeps, where fortunes are made and lost every day, and where snake-eyes aren’t found just on a pair of dice.

Featuring stories by: James Swain, S.J. Rozan, Wendy Hornsby, Michael Collins, T.P Keating, J. Madison Davis, Sue Pike, Joan Richter, Libby Hellmann, Tom Savage, Edward Wellen, K.j.a. Wishnia, Linda Kerslake, John Wessel, Lise McClendon, Ronnie Klaskin, Ruth Cavin, A.B. Robbins , Gay Toltl Kinman, Micki Marz, Rick Mofina, Jeremiah Healy

Available in paperback and e-book. AMAZON   B & N

Alix Thorssen, art dealer, insurance sleuth, and “snapping turtle with a brain and a bra,” stars in Dear Alix,  two short stories set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.“Wild Irish Dreams” is set between Painted Truth and Nordic Nights, featuring an old friend who comes to town unexpectedly. “A Brand of Murder” finds Alix involved in a controversial housing development, breaking up an old family ranch. The stories give a glimpse of Alix’s life outside the novels, and a view of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
“A few writers are gifted with a feel for place that transforms locale from mere background into a vital element of the story itself, important as the human characters who inhabit it. To their number add Lise McClendon, who has taken the small resort town of Jackson Hole and the Wyoming wilderness, and made it her own.” — San Diego Union-Tribune