Reviews for Murder By Numbers
StoryMonster chapter 1 . 1/16/2011
Short, thrilling, and a hair raising read.

Greta job!
Alix Cohen chapter 1 . 11/21/2010
omig-d. *deep breath* wow. The painting is Neil's revenge. Very Quiroga. I'm going to be thinking about this all day. Not all art is meant to disturb, but you are a master of that which is.
Written chapter 1 . 12/2/2009
wow, short and thrilling! there are subtle clues but you certainly play with our perceptions of the characters. i like the fact that this story has a noir feel but seems to revolve around art, and the descriptions of the painting were wonderful. loved the twist ending too.

great piece!
Narq chapter 1 . 9/1/2009
Eh, this short story was powerful, moving, and scary. It is a masterpiece. I personally can't write short stories so I can't say much, but you've really captivated me and my eyes were glued to the screen, my heart pumping away.

The thing I loved here is that you put a wonderful, yet disturbing quote at the start which really made me want to read your work.

TorgoTheWhite chapter 1 . 7/30/2009
Wow. The story sent chills down my spine. Great descriptions of the painting's effects upon its victims.
Llandaryn chapter 1 . 7/23/2009
This is a great little story you've written. The red splash in the painting immediately draws the mind to the concept of blood, and foreshadows the events which follow. But the way in which they play out is completely opposite from expected. I can easily imagine Edward being driven insane by the painting, just thinking about it made my own skin crawl.

At first I wasn't sure if Edward was supposed to be the killer; the way the story opened made me think that he was the detective (in old Noir style, because of the silhouette at the door). At first, Neil seems like such a naive young man, a little innocent and perhaps a bit eccentric. But I changed my mind when he said that "Raymond didn't like the painting", because it's mentioned right after the murder discussion and, again, foreshadows a nasty even.

All in all, I enjoyed both the story and the way in which you wrote it, and I hope you write more short stories of this calibre.

A couple of typos:

“I thought you had been sharing a place with Ray Pinkham. By the way, where has Raymond been the last two weeks? I hadn’t seen him around town.”

Should maybe be 'haven't seen him around town'

Sloan observed that she was wearing a dress she had never seen.

'he had never seen' ?

As she walked past him, he caught the scent of perfume even thought he had never known her to wear it before.

thought though?
sophiesix chapter 1 . 7/22/2009
A cautionary tale to all critics!

I love how you play with readers assessment of Sloan - his flaws are major and plainly stated but he's likable somehow too.

I love the intro to this piece, only the after effect of the accident is described but it works so well

The braque quote was perfect, but I think this piece ilustrates Henry ward Beecher's quote nicely too: "Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures." it leaves you wondering, did teh picture amplify something already existing in the perp's soul, or was it a projection of the artists? Mysterious and intriguing.

PS: typo? ("he caught the scent of perfume even thought he had never known her to wear it before." even though?)
Death Past Words chapter 1 . 7/11/2009
This is really interesting. First of all, I'd like to say that I love the way you write. You don't waste any words and you created a really suspenseful atmosphere. At the beginning, I was starting to get this Film Noir image in my head, which is probably just as well because that also added to the atmosphere.

Of course, your characters were very interesting and well developed and just the concept of replacing that private eye detective with an art critic was interesting in itself. It gave your story a little twist (though, I haven't read much Film Noir-ish stories, so I can't say much).

Probably the best thing I like about your story is just how mysterious it is. By the end, I already get the idea that this painting is somehow causing these people to murder others, but at the same time, it happened just fast enough for me to still be stunned by it. And I didn't expect Janice to be the one who killed either. Surprise twists are great!

I wouldn't mind reading more of this kind of story, but this chapter works great just by itself. The only thing it's missing is a satisfying conclusion. Though, that mysterious sort of ending works too.
Said Author chapter 1 . 6/13/2009
Wow, that was really good. o_o
dEadISthe.n.e.wALIVE chapter 1 . 6/10/2009

The Georges Braque quote pulled me in at first, sparking my interest in what exactly was going to happen to our rough, but strangly likable Edward Sloan. By the end, I was completely engulfed with the emotions that the chararcters were feeling and loved it.

"... nor was it the chief suspect, handcuffed, staring absently at the cup of coffee growing cold in her hands." was one of my favorite lines, because you can just imagine the throughts that could be going through her head.

Once again, amazing.
Neteret chapter 1 . 4/30/2009
Congratulations on a tale that hooked me in and had me panting for the next line after a couple of paragraphs. I love stories like this.

I confess, however, that this story left me rather puzzled. How did the detective know Neil? With such an effective 'weapon' why would Neil be so passive about it's destruction?

A couple of thoughts - cut out at least a hundred words. You don't have to qualify the answers so much or explain where something went, came from, etc. Neil mentions a philosophy major in Boston. Ther is no need since she plays no part. You may want to put in another word or two about Raymond being accused of murder. Then add the same # of words to explain the detective's deductions and Neil's passivity about his work.

Sorry if I sound nit-picky but I belong to a writer's group and we do this to each other all of the time.
Love.Is.Free chapter 1 . 6/2/2008

I like. Very well done.