by Eric J. Guignard
with illustrations by Steve Lines

Harper Day Books
2020, 143 pages, $9.95

ISBN 978-1-949491-24-1

Click here to purchase

Charlie Stewart. Joey Third. Ray Galler, These guys are all in the early-1960s Detroit baggage-bidding crowd.

The what crowd, you ask? Baggage bidding, otherwise known as auctions for leftover baggage that people (accidentally or not) leave behind in hotel rooms. It certainly beats throwing potential paper and metal money, expensive jewelry and valuable heirlooms in the trash.

This time, Joe outbids the narrator, Charlie (who finds himself in a relationship with Gail), for a strange and exotic leather gentlemen’s suitcase that Joey won at the auction, lined with greenish stones, containing a gramophone and eerie records that have annoying music accompanied by a male who is chanting a word: “Vkhodite.”

What does the word mean?

What evil person from history is behind it? Evil, in a sense, because the music is supernaturally hypnotizing. Yet while the music and chanting consumes Joey, Charlie finds a way to resist it. But can Charlie defeat what otherworldly monster the gramophone summons?

LAST CASE is a fast-paced, very charming novella. I would love to read more from Guignard.