As summer tapers off, EQMM adds to the coming chill with its September/October 2018 issue. Darkness emerges in the brightest of vacation locales in the suspenseful “Maui: The Road to Hana” by G.M. Malliet and “Playground of the Rich” by Jennifer Soosar. On other trips, unnerving storms arrive while characters navigate their own murky natures (see “Sometimes You Have to Climb a Mountain” by Tom Tolnay and “Window to the Soul” by Scott Loring Sanders), while in the Department of First Stories, events take a wild turn in a run-down hotel (“Palmetto Springs” by Jeremy Herbert).
At home, crime may lurk just beyond an apartment’s walls, as investigators discover in “Rizzo’s Gun Moll” by Lou Manfredo and “The Case of the Smoking Knife” by Paul Charles, and even the most humdrum of daily commutes brings danger in the Passport to Crime department (“End of the Line” by De Paepe and Depuydt).
Meanwhile, things aren’t what they seem in twisty narratives by Marilyn Todd (“First Dates Are Always the Tricky Ones”), Sharon Hunt (“Promises to Keep”), and Nancy Novick (the Department of First Stories’ “How Does He Die This Time?”).
In a redemptive tone, familiar heroes strive for justice in a new Dylan Lacrosse story from Doug Allyn (“Defender of the Dead”), a case for the mother of Lydia Chin by S.J. Rozan (“Chin Yong-Yun Helps a Fool”), an Auguste Didier whodunit by Amy Myers (“Murder in Aladdin’s Cave), a challenge for spy Finn Teller by Twist Phelan (“Game”), a P.I. Willie Cuesta case by John Lantigua (“The Cuban Prisoner”), and a Pat Gallegher New Orleans tale by Richard Helms (“The Man With Two Grins”).
Readers also won’t want to miss “The Big Run,” a new collaboration by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, or “For the Memoir,” by the late award-winning Robert S. Levinson. Blog Bytes, The Jury Box, and a preview of the October and November Stranger Than Fiction columns round out this haunting fall issue.
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by S.J. Rozan
Lan Li should have known better, of course.
Sitting opposite her in my living room, I sipped some tea in order to prevent myself from pointing that out. I am not the sort of person who likes to draw attention to the obvious. Besides, scolding Lan Li would have done no good. I had no doubt she would be on guard against this same trick—I believe the word my daughter, the detective, uses in English is “scam”—should it present itself again in the future. But Lan Li is on the whole a fool. To try to make her wise would be to hurl eggs against a rock. The eggs would be wasted, the rock unchanged. READ MORE
by Twist Phelan
On what passed for a clear morning in Los Angeles, Finn Teller veered off the sidewalk into an alley. The entrance to the coffee shop was unencouraging. Cracked asphalt led to a thick wooden door with a hand-painted sign over it that read CAFÉ. It wasn’t artistic lettering, like you saw on boutiques that spelled shop with an extra pe at the end. It was bad graffiti, a scrawl of red on a scrap of raw board. READ MORE
by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
I saw them on the platform of the railroad station—two uniformed cops, a tall and a short. I watched from the recess of the doorway as a guy came around the corner and into the illuminated area of the cold, misty night only to get grabbed and patted down and made to display his driver’s license. Then they let him step onto the waiting train.
Another guy came along, in work clothes and cap, and he got the same procedure, even though he protested. “Hey! I’m with the railroad here! Platform man in the station.” READ MORE
Department of First Stories
Bernie whipped his tail across the sink, scattered the little shampoos like bowling pins, and made Sherm wonder if he should’ve gone with a smaller alligator. Would’ve been easier to haul from his truck to the hotel room. Easier to cram into the shower. A helluva lot lighter, for one thing.
Bernie’s fat snout bumped open the bathroom door and he hissed.
“Quit whinin’ before I give you something to whine about,” said Sherm with an exhausted wheeze. It was an empty threat, and Bernie knew as much. Another bump, another hiss. His ridge-backed tail smacked Sherm’s ribs. He grunted at what felt like butter knives jabbing his side. READ MORE
Passport to Crime
by De Paepe and Depuydt
Donna Daems hadn’t felt right all day. She’d awakened with a splitting headache. Something she couldn’t identify sucked the energy from her bones, and a wave of nausea crept upward from her stomach with every move she made. She probably had a fever, but she didn’t dare reach for the thermometer, sure that doing so would mean she’d have to stay home from work. She’d only started at the Jan Palfijn Hospital in Ghent a week ago, and she couldn’t afford to call in sick so soon. It had been challenging enough to find a new position after being let go by her previous employer. READ MORE
by Jon L. Breen
The hardest part of my job is deciding which books I’m not going to read. The reading part is easy, even if time-consuming. Writing about the books is fun. But looking at a stack of books and deciding which I have to eliminate . . . that’s painful. Again, there were more good books waiting than review space. READ MORE
by Kristopher Zgorski
Author collective blogs continue to be a popular way for writerly types to increase their visibility. Since the job of posting is divided up among a group of participants, the bulk of the workload does not fall on any one individual. Take for example, the Wicked Cozy Authors blog. This is a collective of six female cozy mystery writers—if you take into account their pen names, the list doubles—all with ties to the New England region. In addition, they have a few others who are regular contributors to the blog, each posting once a month. READ MORE
by Dean Jobb
The realms of crime fiction and true crime have many intersections. Fiction writers often draw on real investigative techniques, police procedures, and even notorious crime cases in fashioning their stories, and, conversely, fictional sleuths and their methods have occasionally influenced the practices of actual police forces. READ MORE