Short Stories II by Rich DiSilvio

Mysteries, Thrillers & Historical (Volume 2)

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
154 Pages
Reviewed on 11/27/2018
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Author Biography

Rich DiSilvio is a multi-award-winning author of thrillers, mysteries, historical fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, non-fiction and children's books. He has written numerous articles for magazines on the topics of history, art, music, politics, the military, architecture and more.

Rich's work in the entertainment industry includes developing creative assets for films and documentaries, such as James Cameron's The Lost Tomb of Jesus, Operation Valkyrie, The War Zone series, Return to Kirkuk, Killing Hitler, Tracey Ullman's State of the Union, Monty Python: Almost the Truth, and many others, while his art and new media has adorned the projects of Pink Floyd, Yes, Elton John, Cher, Sheryl Crow, Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath and more.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite

Short Stories II by Rich DiSilvio is an eclectic collection of tales ranging from the Roman era to the 19th century right up to the modern day. It includes short stories featuring Armand Arnolfini, a high-powered private detective with CIA connections who specializes in art theft and forgery cases. These are followed by the story of a man who appears in court due to a traffic offence, with a surprising twist - a tale so realistic one wonders if it is based on the author’s personal experiences. Next is a harrowing story of a man who, after a road accident, is fully conscious but unable to move a muscle or communicate with his doctors or family in any way, after which follows an intriguing, thought-provoking tale of a Korean war aviator. The collection concludes with four historical vignettes or dramatizations where the founder of the FBI, the Roman Emperor Augustus, Guglielmo Marconi, President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill all make an appearance.

I thoroughly enjoyed the selection of Rich DiSilvio’s works which have been collected in Short Stories II. Well-written with a cast of extraordinary characters, it is a book that you will dip into time and again. A fine collection of tales with many twists and turns, surprising and informative revelations and passages that will make you pause to think. Filled with good dinner party anecdotes, this collection ensures that you will not fail to be enthralled by Mr DiSilvio’s story telling and penmanship. This is my first encounter with this author’s work but I will certainly make a point of looking out for his books in the future.

Michelle Stanley

“Art is not what you see but make others see.” – Short Stories II: Mysteries, Thrillers & Historical is written by Rich DiSilvio. In The Phantom Forger, private investigator Armand Arnolfini is hired to find the scam artist who conned museum curators. But the trail of paintings reveals a startling discovery. The Russian Link takes Armand back into Hitler’s era when a painting is stolen at the opera. Getting a traffic ticket can lead to A Courtroom Calamity when you’d rather be working. Trapped is how a man feels as he lies in a comatose state. Whiskey, Orange Blossom Specials, and cigars are what Roosevelt and Churchill enjoy while planning war strategies, becoming Saviors of the Western Civilization.

“A picture is a poem without words.” – Horace. Rich DiSilvio’s collection consists of nine appealing stories laced with mystery, history, and wit. Stories like Object Lesson, which takes place in North Korea and Trapped will leave you in a pensive mood. I found references to some of the artists interesting, and also liked FBI: Charles Bonaparte. It tells how the FBI was started. Armand Arnolfini is a fearless, cultured detective that I would like to see in more art related whodunits. The author has a sharp writing style evident in the unusual plots. The cover artwork and illustrations are remarkable. There is a section about the author telling about his writing career and his other books that have won awards. Short Stories II: Mysteries, Thrillers & Historical is the second in the series by Rich DiSilvio and is recommended.

Steve Painter

Award-winning author DiSilvio continues to offer well written short vignettes with Short Stories II. If you're acquainted with his works you will be pleased with his latest publication. If you're a new reader of his, then you have some catching up to do! DiSilvio's talent is unquestioned and his ability to weave fascinating stories with efficient yet detailed writing is unsurpassed.

In Short Stories II, we are taken from one thrilling story to the next, including one that is quite chilling. Along the way, we are reminded of historical events and realities that go on around us, perhaps those not on the evening news.

I strongly encourage readers to pick up a copy, devour it and then read more of DiSilvio's talented works, if you haven't already done so.

Grady Harp

Dare to Enter – the Journey is Rewarding!

Impressive as his credentials are there is no comparison to becoming immersed in his brilliant stories – tales that transport you into other worlds – whether in timeframe or terror. Rich is a gifted artist on many levels and his talent continues to grow.

H. Taylor

A Diverse Collection!

This is a varied collection of short stories. They are all well-written and an enjoyable reading experience. I particularly like the two stories featuring the gentleman private detective, Armand Arnolfini. The character is charismatic and interesting and the storylines give Rich di Silvio a chance to show off his impressive knowledge of History and History of Art.

I loved the references to the decidedly unattractive Arnolfini of the Wedding Portrait being a direct ancestor of Armand, who we are assured is much better looking! The story entitled 'Trapped' is truly chilling and leaves you with mixed feelings. This is a collection to leave you mulling over various thoughts that they have provoked.


Short Stories II is the second volume in Rich DiSilvio’s work with short-form storytelling. As with the first volume, this book consists of a collection of original short stories, followed by dramatized accounts of historical figures pulled from the author’s Tales of Titans books.

As I mentioned in my review of Short Stories, these books (and short-form literature in general) are a great way to introduce yourself to a new author. If their short stories make an impression, your time invested in an author’s longer works will most likely be well spent.

The stories in this collection cover a broad spectrum. From the art world, we have stories on art forgery, as well as the black market for stolen art begun with the Nazi plunder in World War II. Drama plays out in another story of a seemingly routine traffic court appearance with an unexpected conclusion. A fourth story concerns a man in a coma and the right to life. A final story concerns two Korean War fighter pilots on a deadly mission.

All of these stories have bigger themes in play than just the surface story. Fate, injustice (and how we respond to it), looking past the agenda of others to think for ourselves and find the truth of a situation; I think these stories ask us to question these things within ourselves. Many times, I found myself wondering if this is how I would have acted if it was me in the story.

One final aspect of Short Stories II that I thought was great fun was the author’s use of an alter-ego, Silvio Riccadella, in a story that seems to have evolved from a separate art project the author/artist did in conjunction with the Metropolitan Opera. Very clever!

If you are intrigued by the literature of Rich DiSilvio, the Short Stories books are kind of like the shallow end of a big pool; easy to test the water. If you find it agreeable, the deep end awaits with all its mystery and excitement.

Sara N McIntosh

Awesome historical mysteries!

These stories, while fictional, have a real honest feeling and maintain the eye of the reader from beginning to end. I must admit that it's been a while since I have read a book of short stories, and these definitely piqued my interest. With a number of different themes, there is much to read inside this one book. Definitely a great read!

Jose Popoff

Well, Rich DiSilvio has become one of my favorite authors. The imaginative head of this writer is a force to be reckoned with. It is so rich (ha, he honors the name) and versatile!

Now, this book, which is the first of the series I read, was really captivating. Why I did not start with the first tales? Actually, I don't know, but I am so glad I went through this one.

Making a dissection of the reasons why this is one of my favorites leads to this. First, they are short tales, which is one of my favorites. You know, a good mystery and thrill all condensed in one fantastic story. Love it! Then we have a combination of many genres, it's like a buffet! While I am reading I can't help but think, where is the head of this guy?!

The stories and the detail in them are absolutely captivating. There is this special ingredient that DiSilvio puts into his stories. I am hooked and will definitively be reading his other books. They say it will be such a ride! I am sure it will even if they come only near to as good as this one.

Lorenza Seldner

Engaging, impeccably written!

When I first learned award-winning Rich DiSilvio also wrote children’s books I was speechless. I read his compilation of Short Stories part II and he proves, once more, he’s a master at weaving thrilling, exciting stories.

The collection is vast and rich, my favorite story: The Russian Link. Think of a modern Sherlock Holmes, living in New York in the seventies, solving crimes while listening to Pink Floyd. It can’t get any cooler than that.

The book unveils DiSilvio ample knowledge of Art and History. His vocabulary is impeccable and seems to help recreate the ambiance of his stories. In the case of the Russian Link: New York’s Golden Era.

Other stories are quite more horrifying, not quite my style. Nonetheless, reading DiSilvio will A.) Make you learn and B.) Turn into a forever devotee of his work.

I totally recommend this book.

Robert Krueger

Here are a variety of stories that will entertain, that range from the dark to the more conventional that are not quite conventional at all. As I see it, there is an underlying moral perspective that enhances the enjoyment of these original offerings; see "Trapped" for example.

The author leads the reader into the stories by descriptive phrasing that moves dramatically at times. This collection is a different sort: attention-grabbing, satisfying short pieces with many twists and unexpected conclusions; a pleasant journey.

For example, the first story is about a baffling art crime. A painting is discovered, one of possible genius, underneath a forgery of a masterpiece. Along with three others, the forgery was purchased as authentic. A great financial loss. The quest for the forger begins and the mystery deepens leading to a poignant conclusion.

A Cannady

Rich DiSilvio has quickly become one of my go-to authors when I want something with a unique flavor of history or philosophy mixed with excitement and thrill to it without the bogged down middle parts.

With his newest book, Short Stories II, he doesn’t disappoint. Each tale is a short mystery thriller with a bit of a historical bite in it. Every story is a complete tale in its own right, but some of them interconnect for that little something extra that makes the reader engage deeper. Whether you are a history buff or not, DiSilvio’s books draw you into their stories and teach you a few facts without you even knowing you are learning.

Through tales in this book, like the Phantom Forger where Armand Arnolfini has to solve the mystery of forged priceless paintings, and “A Courtroom Calamity,” where a bit of legalese and humor combine to tell a short story of the seriousness of what happens when you are just a few minutes late for something, DiSilvio keeps us turning the page.

Christa T.

Wonderful Collection of Short Stories Filled with History and Mystery

I don't generally give five stars, but over the past year or so, I have really become a fan of Rich DiSilvio. Because of this, I feel free to not only give five stars, but also absolutely believe that this book deserves it.

As you probably expect from the title, this book is a collection of short stories, and the stories contained here are all mysteries about history. I am definitely not always a fan of short stories, usually because the authors who write them usually have a "theme," and the stories become predictable and ultimately, boring. In this case, however, DiSilvio has created a collection of stories that are exciting, different, and will keep you want to read more.

If you have ever read any of Rich DiSilvio's stories, you definitely have to pick this up. In true DiSilvio style, he melds history with mystery with amazing style. He definitely knows what he's talking about, and the book is short, so it's easy to get through, even for those who might not have a great attention span.