Wisdom From Kammbia Story Review 23: Since You Went Away by Frankie Y. Bailey

by | Feb 20, 2024 | Black History Month, Short Story Review, Wisdom of Kammbia Story Review | 0 comments

Anthologies provide a great opportunity to explore new genres of fiction that you wouldn’t typically read. Also, I have integrated more short stories into my reading life in the last couple of years. Incorporating short stories into your reading life can provide a refreshing change of pace from novels and help you overcome reading slumps.

It was a couple of years ago when I came across Since You Went Away by Frankie Y. Bailey. This story is part of the Shades of Black: Crime & Mystery Stories by African American Authors anthology. Around the same time, I had the pleasure of reading the excellent story, The Cookout by Jacqueline Banks, as well as Bailey’s story from the anthology.

Since You Went Away tells the story of a train traveling to Chicago from New Orleans. The story takes place in the mid-1940s, just after World War II. A porter named Walter Lee comes upon a murder of a woman named Miss Peaches on the train. She works as an orderly in a Chicago hotel and was on her way home. The presence of another passenger on the train who recognized Miss Peaches sets the story in motion.

Bailey writes a solid whodunit with a nice twist at the end. This is a tale of love and revenge, and although it felt predictable, I valued the historical context the writer included. Crime fiction fans looking to read short stories from a different perspective should checkout Since You Went Away and the entire anthology as well.



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