Madness Lies and Other Stories is a collection of 16 short stories with a quirky cartoon illustration on each title page. Eve’s subjects are people who change things causing lives to take a different direction. Her experiences trigger her ideas and the people she has encountered inhabit her tales. Eve enjoys writing short stores and hers sparkle with humour and compassion.
The title story is a twisty tale of lost roads and signposts, involving a lying taxi-driver, a highway inspector turned sleuth, and a deranged farmer with a gun. Its themes of folly and deceit are echoed in “Requital” in which a foolish woman seeks revenge on a dishonest silversmith and a selfish husband. There is a flautist who recounts how his neighbours are driven demented by the illusion of noise, and a monk who runs amok with a sauce bottle at a party. “Blind Love” is about a love affair, disabled by prejudice, whilst “Fly Baby” is a tall story of a misadventure in the 1970’s involving an aeroplane in Laos and a damsel in distress.
“Evanescence” is concerned with friendship, and when the crew of a sailing boat disclose their ambitions, one of them decides to make these happen. In one story a saint with a mop frees a hospital patient from his self-imposed isolation, whilst in another a china mender relates how he gained and lost his happiness at an auction sale. “Poker Faces” is about risk and generosity, culminating in a tense game between a poker-playing hotelier and his nephews, and “Soul Trader” is a racy tale about a bond trader who commits arson.
There are quirky stories such as “Gingko” which describes a colonel’s love for a married woman and her tree, and “Scars” in which a person who cannot stand the sight of blood has a road accident. One tale tells of a compulsive letter writer on her travels and another is about someone with a fear of the dark who makes a daunting night voyage. “Mirror Image” is a ghost story involving twins and an elopement.
Paperback available from Amazon and Dryad Books (firstname.lastname@example.org).