“Allyn displays a flair for gritty, colloquial dialogue . . . and a talent for making even the most incidental characters flesh-and-blood originals,” Publishers Weekly has said of Doug Allyn’s work. It’s these qualities that explain his many EQMM Readers Awards and his multiple Edgars. His most recent novel, written with James Patterson, is The Lawyer Lifeguard.
E. Gabriel Flores won the 2017 Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for best short story by a new American author for her December 2016 EQMM story “The Truth of the Moment.” The story was set in the Dominican Republic, as is this new tale. The author knows the land and its people well. She once served in the Peace Corps there.
Winner of the 2001 EQMM Readers Award for his story “Avenging Miriam,” Peter Sellers was hailed by The Jury Box as “one of the key figures in the Canadian mystery renaissance.” He is a winner of the Derrick Murdoch Award and a multiple nominee for Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award. The latest collection of his stories is entitled This One’s Trouble.
Hollis Seamon makes her EQMM debut with a story that evokes a brutal New York winter. She is the author of two short-story collections (Corporeality, which won an Independent Publishers gold medal award, and Body Work) and the 2009 Al Blanchard Award winner for best crime story. Also the author of two novels, she teaches creative writing at Fairfield University.
A bestseller in his native France, Paul Halter has been seeing print in the U.S. lately through the efforts of the publishing company Locked Room International, founded by John Pugmire, the translator of this and other Halter stories for EQMM. Paul Halter’s 2016 title for LRI, The Vampire Tree, was selected by PW as a top mystery of that year. The latest Halter novel in translation is the recently released The Man Who Loved Clouds (LRI).
Richard Helms is the author of six previous stories for EQMM; five of them have either won or been nominated for awards, including 2010’s “The Gods for Vengeance Cry,” which won the International Thriller Award for best short story. The North Carolina writer has also produced many well-received novels. The most recent is Paid in Spades, in his Pat Gallegher series.
Like this issue’s other Department of First Stories author, Sherry Lalonde is Canadian, and she’s set her story in an interesting location, Canada’s Royal Botanical Gardens. An avid gardener herself, with a degree in horticulture, she currently works in a busy public library in Ottowa, where, she says, she spends her days recommending her favorite mysteries.
A contributor to EQMM for more than a quarter century, William Hallstead began his long literary career by authoring the 31st book in the Hardy Boys series, under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon. Under his own name and other pseudonyms he’s written many other novels and short stories. In 2015, he placed second in EQMM’s annual Readers Award competition.
We’re pleased to welcome Steve Hockensmith back to our pages. His first series of novels, the Amlingmeyer Brothers Mysteries, had its genesis in a 2003 story for EQMM entitled “Dear Mr. Holmes,” and there were subsequent short stories in the series as well as novels. More recent Hockensmith titles have included his Tarot Mystery series, written with Lisa Falco, and the New York Times bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls.
Susan Dunlap got her start in EQMM’s Department of First Stories in 1978 and has gone on to write four popular mystery series and win Anthony and Macavity awards. She is a founding board member of Sisters in Crime, and has served as the organization’s president. Her latest novel, in her Darcy Lott series, is Out of Nowhere (Severn House, 2017).
R.T. Raichev has written nine novels in the series to which this new story belongs, starring mystery writer Antonia Darcy and her husband, Major Payne. In its starred review of one of the early books, Library Journal said, “Mixes Henry James’s psychological insight with Agatha Christie’s whodunit plotting skills”—an observation we think would be as apt applied to some of the stories.
Benjamin Percy is a writer who simply cannot be categorized. He’s an award winner in the world of literary fiction whose Paris Review story “Refresh, Refresh” made 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories; he’s a thriller novelist whose latest book, The Dark Net, was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, and he writes the Green Arrow, Teen Titans, and James Bond comic series. This story’s his EQMM debut.
Yorkshire-born writer Marjorie Eccles is the author of more than twenty novels and many short stories. The best known of these belong to her DS Gil Mayo series, which was made into a TV series for the BBC entitled Mayo, in 2006, and was later broadcast in Australia. There are thirteen novels in the series. Her latest book, The Property of Lies, is, like this story, an historical mystery.
Canadian writer Maaja Wentz makes her professional fiction debut here. She has previously had some poetry published both in print and on the web, and she’s had a couple of stories in contest anthologies, but this is her first paid publication. By day, she works as a teacher and librarian in Toronto; her very original first story is set in Quebec.
The prolific and versatile Bill Pronzini had new books out in two different genres this spring, The Bag of Tricks Affair (Tor/Forge), the latest installment in his historical mystery series starring P.I.s Carpenter and Quincannon, and a “novel of the West” entitled Give-a-Damn Jones (also Tor/Forge). The California author is a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America.
Hilary Davidson began her career as a travel writer. Since turning to fiction, she has won Anthony and Derringer awards and been called “a rising star in the mystery genre” by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. She is a prolific short-story writer and has authored five crime novels, the most recent, One Small Sacrifice, due to be released by Thomas & Mercer early in 2019.
Tim Baker appeared on the mystery scene in 2016 with the novel Fever City, which was nominated for a Shamus Award, short-listed for the John Creasey New Blood Dagger, and praised by the Washington Post for “. . . inspired writing, memorable characters and an exhilarating, all but overpowering story.” The author was born in Sydney, and moved to Italy, where this story is set, in his early twenties. He currently lives in France.
Carlos Orsi is not new to EQMM. In July 2014, his story “Best Eaten Cold,” translated from the Portuguese by Cliff Landers, appeared in our Passport to Crime department. But the Brazilian author of five story collections and three novels can also write in English, as he did in creating this brilliant locked-room story, so this time we are not publishing him under the Passport banner.