EQMM’s November/December issue wraps up an exciting year with some familiar characters: Special operative cum high-school principal Anne DeWitt returns in “Small Signs” by Charlaine Harris (whose latest TV series Midnight, Texas recently debuted on NBC); Elizabeth Zelvin’s sleuth Bruce Kohler is back in a Central Park/Strawberry Fields whodunit (“Death Will Help You Imagine”); Lou Manfredo’s Detective Rizzo takes on a case with a bit of nostalgia (“Rizzo’s Monkey Store”); writer-sleuth Antonia Darcy again stumbles upon a body in “Murder at The Mongoose” by R.T. Raichev; and detectives Hennessey and Yellich return in Peter Turnbull’s procedural “Bad Bargain Lane.”
Jim Fusilli, in his Black Mask debut, brings us the mob story “Precision Thinking,” set in a fictionalized Hoboken, New Jersey—and rural areas are represented too, in Dominic Russ-Combs’s coming-of-age crime tale “Manglevine,” in Tim L. Williams’s riveting portrayal of a domestic crime (“Wendell and Joni and Dianne and Me”), and in John Gastineau’s suspenseful Department of First Stories entry, “A Coon Dog and Love.” Suburban life has its own dark side, as we see in Tom Tolnay’s eerie “Bogus Lives” and Penny Hancock’s twisty payback tale “The Pest.”
Stunning puzzle mysteries are provided by Frankie Y. Bailey (“The Singapore Sling Affair,” set at a community theater circa 1948) and Shimada Sōji (“The Running Dead,” from Passport to Crime, which features an impossible crime).
“The Bad Guys” by Richard Chizmar and “Betrayal” by Bill Pronzini explore the hard decisions facing cops, while T. J. MacGregor’s lottery story “A Gambler’s Superstition” and the haunting “Honey, Hold Me” by Robert L. Fish Award winner Zoë Z. Dean emphasize the tensions of home and family.
Finally, don’t miss an action-packed new piece from multiple EQMM Readers Award Winner Doug Allyn (“Tombstone”)—set during the filming of a Western—or your chance to vote for the 2017 EQMM Readers Award with the enclosed ballot!
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by Charlaine Harris
David Angola was leaning against Anne DeWitt’s car in the Travis High School parking lot. The bright early-fall sun shone on his newly shaved dark head. It was four-thirty on a Friday afternoon, and the lot was almost empty.
Anne did not get the surprise David had (perhaps) intended. She always looked out the window of her office after she’d collected her take-home paperwork. READ MORE
by Doug Allyn
“Wilson! Hack Wilson! I know you’re in there, damn you. Step out or I’ll come in and drag you out!”
Flinching at the anger in Miller’s voice, I glanced quickly around the seedy saloon, looking for a friendly face. Didn’t see one. No one even met my eyes.
Drinkers looked to their whiskey, gamblers looked to their cards, the whores just looked bored. I’d be making this fight alone. READ MORE
by Jim Fusilli
Delmenhorst Flooring had its warehouse on Observer Road in Narrows Gate, across from the clanging Erie-Lackawanna switching yard. Founded in 1921 by Hans-Josef Bamberg, a German immigrant, Delmenhorst was, for many years, northern New Jersey’s largest dealer of Armstrong printed and molded inlaid linoleum. Prior to World War II, it was a prosperous enterprise. It sold and installed quality flooring at a fair price. READ MORE
Department of First Stories
by John Gastineau
No cops, praise Jesus. But if they’d come and if they’d asked, I’d’ve told them: We were just some guys standing around a pickup looking at a coon dog.
J.T. raises them, trades in them some. Me and Spank were at Lonnie’s splitting wood when he rolled up. His pickup’s just a mite, a little red S-10, but it’s pretty near new and J.T. acts like it’s a Silverado. He had the dog, a pup, in the back in a plywood crate, chicken wire for a door. READ MORE
Passport to Crime
by Shimada Sōji
It happened on a stormy night in the early summer of 1980.
Every other Saturday Genji Itoi, the owner of the jazz bar Zig-Zag, had jazz players and aficionados over to his apartment. This was the first time Puff and I, drummer and saxophonist respectively of the band The Seven Rings, had been invited. The other members hadn’t been able to make it. READ MORE
by Steve Steinbock
In this installment of The Jury Box we have a number of books that take us around the world: from Laos to Russia, Italy, Egypt, and Japan. We’ll also throw in a touch of magic. To start off, we travel around the corner in New York for what may be the final novel of an EQMM favorite author. READ MORE
by Bill Crider
I mention this magazine’s website every so often, but I haven’t emphasized the podcast page lately (elleryqueenmysterymagazine.com/the-crime-scene/podcasts). It’s one of the best features of the site, and it provides the pleasure of hearing authors read their own stories. In some of the most recent podcasts, Paul D. Marks, a winner of the EQMM Readers Award, reads “Ghosts of Bunker Hill,” E. Gabriel Flores reads her Department of First Stories tale, “The Truth of the Moment,” and Helena Edwards reads her first story, “If Anything Happens to Me.” READ MORE