Martha Conway, 12 Bliss Street (2003) 248 pp.
Nicola is having a really bad day. She’s tired of her life; she’s tired of her job, her boss, and even her San Francisco apartment, which she’s being evicted from anyway. Her only excitement is fueled by fantasy about the expensive lingerie she wears under her business suits and about someone she sees at lunch every day, a darkly handsome man she calls Chorizo, after the kind of pizza he orders. But Nicola’s life takes a sudden turn towards more excitement than she bargained for. First, she is kidnapped after kickboxing class by two inept teenagers who turn out to somewhat more than garden-variety ransom kidnappers. Then her innocent flirtation with Chorizo turns sinister. Suddenly Nicola’s problem is no longer how to survive her boredom but how to survive, period.