Dead Man's Rain
by Frank Tuttle, fantasy (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-033-2

Frank Tuttle's Dead Man's Rain is set in a world where humans live with ogres, vampires, and other spooky creatures. Judging from the description of the vehicles, clothes, and the culture of the folks in this story, I'd say this one probably qualifies as a steampunk tale. This is also not a romance story, just to let you know.

We have a cute story here about a Finder named Markhat. A Finder is like a private investigator of sorts. A soldier during the war, he finds himself back at the bottom of the social hierarchy in the town of Rannit once the war is over on the account of his non-human nature. He is hired by a widow, Lady Merlat, to investigate and put an end to what seems to be the case of her dead husband having returned from the grave, with chains and all, to haunt the lady. This is a mystery story, so I won't say anything more other than it soon becomes apparent to Markhat that Lady Merlat has more problems to deal with than her late husband coming back to haunt her.

I really like this story. It just keeps bringing on the macabre chills and thrills as it keeps going. While this is a short story, it's a pretty fun one as the pacing is just right and the story build-up is great. If I have a complain, it's how little I get to know about Markhat and Mama Hog, but that's just a small matter, really. The characters are memorable enough with their quirks and all.

If the author continues with more stories of Markhat and Mama Hog - and I really hope he does - I hope he'll slowly show me more of who his characters are. Dead Man's Rain is a most enjoyable short story and I would love to stay awhile longer in this setting. Let's make it one more story, at least, Mr Tuttle.

Rating: 86

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