If you haven't picked up the second issue of NEEDLE, you're missing out... and, to be honest with you, a loser. It's as solid as the first with a mix of established and newer authors. For an excellent roundup, check out Naomi Johnson's post at The Drowning Machine.
I'll focus on one particular story that I really liked, The Sins of Maynard Shipley by David Cranmer. Crime fiction writers are perpetually faced with the question, "Why does this person do what they do (kill, rob, use drugs, etc.)? Why don't they stay home on the couch watching Wheel of Fortune, eating snack cake after snack cake like the rest of us?" Usually the criminal's inspiration is money, or revenge, or envy, or some combination thereof.
But not Maynard Shipley. He's a nursing home caretaker (ha! that's a funny word in this context--he sure does take care of 'em) who kills old people for a simple reason: he hates them. I found this refreshing. It has to be the oldest (and probably, underneath other excuses, most real) reason for murder--the killer just doesn't want to live on the same planet as the other person.
Add in Cranmer's colorful prose, a cool twist and some heartbreaking details (like the cute, lovey old people couple that Shipley breaks up), and it makes for a great story.
On an unrelated note, here's what I'll be up to in the near future. Posts may not be as often because I'll be doing some novellas and short story collections, though I may mix in some individual short story reviews in between:
Simon Wood's short story collection WORKING STIFFS
Allan Guthrie's novella BYE BYE BABY
Whit Howland's novella HUEY DUSK
Debbi Mack's short story collection FIVE UNEASY PIECES