A Christmas Story: Tidings of Comfort and Joy by Cathy Ace

During the run up to Christmas, the authors of Crime Cymru have come together to post short Christmas stories throughout December to the Crime Cymru website and its social media platforms. There will be a story every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday until the 22nd of December. Each story will be by a different author to keep your thirst for crime fiction alive while the stress of Christmas takes over. We hope you enjoy our festive tales and on behalf of all the authors, we wish you a Merry Christmas. Tidings of Comfort and Joy is an amusing tale by Cathy Ace of a Swansea based couple who lack the Christmas spirit towards their fellow neighbours. Tidings of Comfort and Joy by Cathy Ace ‘John Evans is dead. It’s in the newspaper. It must be true. Poor dab.’ Gladys Pritchard waved the South Wales Evening Post in front of her husband. ‘Good riddance,’ muttered her spouse. Gladys gave him a sour look over her glasses. ‘Died...
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Like, Love, Kill Episode 8

Each Sunday, Cal Smyth's social media thriller Like, Love, Kill is serialised via Crime Cymru. Here is the final episode... 33 As Kel steps out of the art studio, she mentally goes over her previous notes on Irina. Just in case there is anything she has missed. Is there someone who would know Irina’s contacts and would bear a grudge? A name jumps out at her: Rupert Wilkinson, former art patron of UCASS. After Irina’s art-sex video, she gained renown while he lost his position. The man just might have vengeful feelings. Kel googles Rupert Wilkinson on her phone. The most recent reference to his name is in a Gloucester Evening Post article a year earlier. The headline is: ‘Former UCASS Art Patron Vanishes.’ Kel reads the article: ‘Rupert Wilkinson, former art patron of UCASS, has been declared missing after he failed to turn up to court for divorce proceedings. His estranged wife, Camilla Wilkinson filed for divorce following a video of Mr Wilkinson having sex with...
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Like, Love, Kill Episode 7

Each Sunday, Cal Smyth's social media thriller Like, Love, Kill is serialised via Crime Cymru. Here is episode 7…   27 Kel, Caitlin, Irina and Mike are being balled out by Inspector Christie. With the four of them sitting around a desk in the library and Inspector Christie standing over them, it feels like being back in school. Each of them has had their individual statements taken down. Now, the inspector has them all together, his voiced raised as he says: ‘Do you realise how much more difficult you have just made catching the killer? I’ve now got all four of you to cross check with fingerprints at the scene. Not to mention time wasted taking statements about how you came to be in the victim’s flat and then finding out your plan might have in fact instigated the victim’s death.’ Kel understands Inspector Christie’s anger. They’ve fucked up. Or she has. Quite obviously, Toby isn’t the killer because he’s as dead as a dodo. She...
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Like, Love, Kill Episode 6

Each Sunday, Cal Smyth's social media thriller Like, Love, Kill is serialised via Crime Cymru. Here is episode 6…   22 Kel and Caitlin sit across from each other in a corner of the student union bar, Kel wanting to meet so she can run her research findings by Caitlin. The floor is sticky with spilled beer, the walls are covered with provocative murals and the place smells of bleach. Kel thinks it’s as if every Uni needs to have one grungy bar as an act of youthful rebellion. Especially on a campus like UCASS which is so meticulously designed. Kel has a JD and coke in front of her, plus a packet of crisps. Her lunch consisted of four and a half oatcakes, so her dinner is almost an upgrade. Caitlin just has an orange juice. The bar is quite empty, only two other groups of students huddled together. In keeping with the feeling of secrecy, Kel leans towards Caitlin, says: ‘You can feel the...
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Like, Love, Kill Episode 5

Each Sunday, Cal Smyth's social media thriller Like, Love, Kill is serialised via Crime Cymru. Here is episode 5…   15 It’s well into the night by the time Amy is declared dead, police have sealed off her room and statements have been taken. Inspector Christie was obviously still busy dealing with Grace’s murder, so a different DI talked to Kel and Caitlin. The two women are sitting in a lecture hall where Kel usually hears talks on criminology. It is the nearest building to Amy’s residence block so has been set up as a makeshift interview room. With the police and ambulance crew busy back at the scene, Kel and Caitlin are left alone, the two of them subdued. Kel is able to cope with seeing a dead person, but two in one day is a bit much. Caitlin says: ‘Well you were right something was wrong.’ ‘Yea, didn’t think she’d killed herself though.’ ‘We knew her history.’ ‘Self-harm is one thing. Suicide takes it to another...
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Like, Love, Kill Episode 4

Each Sunday, Cal Smyth's social media thriller Like, Love, Kill is serialised via Crime Cymru. Here is episode 4…   10 Kel and the others stand to the side as the police arrive. As soon as Kel saw Grace was dead she called Inspector Christie. Now at the scene, he gives her a strange sideways glance as he enters the café. Kel acted like a professional before the police came, didn’t let anyone else into the café. Though it was impossible to keep Grace’s murder a secret. The others all heard her on the phone say that a woman had been killed. When Caitlin asked if it was Grace, Kel nodded that it was. Amy tried to get a closer look, but Kel told her they shouldn’t contaminate the scene and barred her from going inside. Not that it stopped Amy from taking a photo through the doorway. Kel looks up at the top of the door. There is no camera. She asks Caitlin: ‘Grace didn’t...
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Like, Love, Kill Ep 3

Each Sunday, Cal Smyth's social media thriller Like, Love, Kill is serialised via Crime Cymru. Here is episode 3… 7 With the café closed, Grace has an hour before she hosts UCASS business society night. It’s been a busy day so far. Irina in the morning, checking her screens are all in synch. Followed by the police coming in, though their questioning didn’t last long. The afternoon TED talk, which was stressful to prepare, but amazing in its outcome. The news that Charlene’s death has been ruled as accidental came as welcome relief. Kel’s messages had Grace worried. She defended Mike, but doubts crept in. Now she can rest easy, knowing that he is simply a vindictive control freak, not a murderer. She also worried that she should have discouraged Kel more, but the police statement will do that now, so that’s another worry gone. Checking Facebook, Grace looks at her earlier post following the TED talk she gave: ‘Possibly the greatest achievement of my...
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Like, Love, Kill ep 2 Cal Smyth

Each Sunday, Cal Smyth's social media thriller Like, Love, Kill is serialised via Crime Cymru. Here is episode 2… 3 With the café closed up for the day, Grace gets onto her iPhone while Irina’s technicians install the video screens. Irina is a demanding artist, but Grace understands her. Irina aims high, her art must be exhibited to a professional standard. Grace isn’t artistically inclined and doesn’t feel emotional about Irina’s work, but she recognises a mutual opportunity. The exhibition will be good publicity for both of them. As always, the café was busy all day. The campus has a Starbucks and a student union bar, but Campus Café is not part of a chain nor too grungy. With its focus on UCASS staff and students, the café is independent, sophisticated and caters to its customers’ needs. After Amy and Caitlin left, Grace snapped a quick picture to post on Facebook. It’s strange that Charlene was off, especially without notifying her, but Grace...
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Like, Love, Kill by Cal Smyth

To coincide with his new role as a Royal Literary Fellow at Swansea University, Cal Smyth has written a social media murder mystery set on a university campus. Each Sunday, Like, Love, Kill will be serialised via Crime Cymru… 1 Amy scrolls through Facebook posts on her iPhone, jabs at the screen, says: ‘I’d kill to get as many likes as her.’ Caitlin looks across the counter, asks: ‘Who?’ ‘Charlene.’ Amy turns the phone so that Caitlin can see the screen. The photo is of Charlene, the dancing queen, in mid-salsa pose with another young woman. Charlene isn’t pouting, but her lips naturally form a kiss shape. Two high-heeled, short-skirted women locked in an embrace give the photo an added sheen. It has already got over a hundred likes. Caitlin shakes her head. SMH, she thinks, SMH. Realising even she is thinking in text speak, Caitlin smiles at life. She likes Charlene’s joyful attitude and doesn’t think Amy should take the whole ‘like’ business so seriously. Caitlin...
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You’ve got to have done it: Arthur Cole

You’ve got to have done it: Arthur Cole

Arthur Cole speaks of his fascinating journey from the police to writing poetry and co-writing crime thrillers based on his wealth of experience. My literary career began late in life, in fact I didn’t write anything until January 2016. I was born and bred in a small mining village called Caerau, at the top of the Llynfi Valley, Maesteg. My father was a miner, as were most of my immediate family. I am one of six children, five brothers and one sister. I passed my 11+ in 1961 and then attended Maesteg Grammar School. I wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination academic, I was more hands on, Metalwork, Woodwork and Technical Drawing, however I did love English literature. During the last year of my schooldays, a new English Literature teacher Mr David John introduced us to the World War I poets such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. Mr John actually transformed the English department. I left school at seventeen and...
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