Behind That Curtain: T. M. Doran short stories

Some of my original short stories appear on this site, including three short mystery stories and two short speculative fiction stories (all in T. M. Doran original stories).

I began writing the Cole Porter Palmer short mystery stories in the 1990s, following the pattern of the puzzle plot mysteries of the early 20th century (Chesterton, Christie, Carr, Sayers, Queen, Van Dine, etc.), and have about 30 on the shelf. One of the characters in these stories is Henry Drake, and I made him the fictional author of the stories that chronicle Palmer’s exploits.

When Ignatius Press published “Terrapin”, the main character in the story, Dennis Cole, was a University of Michigan engineering professor who moonlighted as a mystery writer, and who used the penname, Henry Drake. As an end of story twist, I used a modified version of one of my on the shelf Cole Porter Palmer mysteries, “The Deadly Dart Mystery”, authored by Henry Drake, in the book’s appendix. Often referring to Dennis Cole’s writing avocation in “Terrapin” I thought it would add realism, and might be fun, for readers to unexpectedly encounter one of his stories. Some readers have noticed that “The Deadly Dart Mystery” is written in a different voice than “Terrapin”, something I worked hard to achieve.

Since “Terrapin” was published, Ignatius Press has published three Bonus eBook short stories featuring Cole Porter Palmer: “A Legendary Mystery”, “The Yellow Tavern Mystery”, and “The Linden Murder Case Mystery”, all posted on this site. Legendary and Linden take place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and all three mystery stories explore things that interest me: the bio-sciences in Legendary, the American Civil War in Tavern, and Golden Age puzzle plot mystery writers in Linden.

As for “Leonardo’s Work” (published as an eBook by Ignatius Press, and posted on this site) and “The Wall” (which only appears on this site), at first glance they are radically different speculative fiction stories, though they have an important theme in common, as both explore the ways in which intelligent, observant, and determined people can overlook or dismiss evidence that doesn’t correspond to their preconceived ideas.

I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I enjoyed composing them, and I welcome your feedback.