The 13th tale in Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women is Lee Murray’s “Frangipani Wishes.” This is her second tale in the book (“Phoenix Claws” here) and the two stories are so different they could have been written by different authors. A compliment to Murray’s ability to write in diverse voices, she brings a deep tragedy to “Frangipani Wishes” where “Phoenix Claws” sizzles with black humor. Both are brilliant.

“Frangipani Wishes” by Lee Murray from Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women

In “Frangipani Wishes” Murray presents us with a wasted life. A young girl makes a mistake that haunts the remainder of her days. Murray catches the grim fate that is the reality for unwed mothers in many cultures. Whether a baby is the product of rape or a lapse in judgement, in many cultures it signifies an unforgiveable sin on the mother’s head.

The irony of the title just adds to the story. The frangipani is a fragrant flower often used at weddings to represent the union between two people. For girls like the protagonist, one slip up means all their hopes for a decent future will forever remain unfulfilled wishes.

We tell our daughters they are treasures until they have desires of their own, and then we sometimes treat them as garbage. Who has the right to take value from any life, let alone our own children?

“Frangipani Wishes” by Lee Murray is the 13th story in Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, an anthology of Asian women in horror. Three-time international Bram Stoker Award-finalist, Lee Murray is New Zealand’s most awarded speculative fiction writer and editor (Sir Julius Vogel, Australian Shadows).

She is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and short fiction including the double award-winning Taine McKenna speculative thriller series (Severed Press), and supernatural crime-noir series Path of Ra (Raw Dog Screaming Press) which she co-writes with Wellington author, Dan Rabarts. She is proud to have edited sixteen anthologies of dark fiction. Lee lives with her family in the sunny Bay of Plenty where she conjures up stories for readers of all ages from her office overlooking a cow paddock.

Get your copy of Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women
direct from the publisher here.

Find out about the other stories
in Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women (and more)
here under the #amreading tag.

Related links:
Black Cranes: A Review in Verse by Renata Pavrey | Tomes and Tales
Skeleton Hour 04: Black Cranes | Horror Writers
Black Cranes Release Day Panel | Omnium Gatherum
Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women by Lee Murray I | Gingernuts of Horror
Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women by Lee Murray II | Gingernuts of Horror
Meet Black Crane Lee Murray |
Meet Black Crane Grace Chan |
Meet Black Crane Geneve Flynn |

Angela Yuriko Smith

By Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Shimanchu-American and award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years of experience as a professional writer in nonfiction. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), producer of the Exercise Your Writes YouTube podcast, two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020. She shares a weekly calendar of author opportunities at

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