Spring is ahead of us, and EQMM’s March/April 2018 issue brings you the freshest new short crime and mystery fiction. Stop and smell the roses—or seasonal harvests not so sweet—with MWA Grand Master Peter Lovesey in “Reader, I Buried Them,” set in an urban monastery, and with G.M. Malliet in the surprising “Victory Garden.” Get outdoors with a cop who faces a water-bound test in Brendan DuBois’s “The Submarine of Walker Lake”; on a mountain hike that spurs an amateur to pursue his friend’s case, in Thomas Przybilka and Gitta List’s Passport to Crime tale “Rest In Peace”; and with a mother and her wayward son at a seashore resort in Susan Perry Benson’s “Rip Currents.”
The cold wind lingers in Josh Pachter’s short-short “A Young Man’s Game,” and another contest holds sway in the finale to Chris Muessig and Steve Seder’s wrestling trilogy “One Fall to a Finish.”
Organized crime can seem impregnable, but characters find ways to combat it in “The Wedding Ring” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (about a conman and his identity-theft crew) and “Health and Safety” by Liza Cody, a thriller with a culinary twist. Watch the hierarchy of organized crime play out in “Tigers and Flies” by Cath Staincliffe and “Avenging Angel” by John Lantigua, and match wits with a serial killer in “Bench Mark” by Marilyn Todd (featuring Ancient Rome’s Claudia Seferius).
It doesn’t get fresher than the Department of First Stories, and there Samantha Allen spins a tale of a recent widow in a struggling rural community, in “Some Kind of Lonely.” Watch a child take on an emotional case when his friend goes missing, in the harrowing “Sofee” by David Dean, and listen to a young narrator recount her exploits in Margaret Maron’s “The Last Man I Killed.”
Finally, treat yourself to “Cleopatran Cocktails” by William Burton McCormick and “Faceless Killer” by Christine Poulson, two unique stories from uncommon points of view. The March/April issue will get you ready for the season to turn—don’t miss it!
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by Liza Cody
It was a warm August afternoon and the sun fell like a lover’s hand on the back of my neck. I was walking away from the kitchen of a party house, hoping for a couple of hours’ rest before a flock of bridesmaids showed up to make life hell. READ MORE
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
The smell of coffee woke her. Serena stretched her arm across the soft sheets to find Dylan’s side of the bed cold. She eased her eyes open. He’d actually pulled the covers up and placed them under the pillow.
She smiled. In the five days they’d been married, he hadn’t done that before. She had teased him a lot about leaving the bed unmade. READ MORE
by Chris Muessig and Steve Seder
The sun glared like a lidless eye from the hills above the prison. Brewer looked back at the dust swirling behind the black Cadillac and turned the rear A/C up a notch. He hadn’t felt such cool luxury since riding in the old chief’s funeral cortege.
Despite comfortable air and upholstery, Brewer had been uneasy throughout the two-hour ride from the city. He had offered to make this trip in his own car but, in reply, got a postcard with puzzling instructions to be outside his apartment house at sunup. READ MORE
Department of First Stories
by Samantha Allen
My husband hit me once. It was an accident—I touched him when he was sleeping and he, being a combat vet, woke up swinging. Hit me in the mouth and split my lip. I’ll never forget how bad that hurt, him hitting me, but the point is that he didn’t mean it. People are cruel sometimes and it’s more about them than anyone else. I can tell you how all our lives Darryl and I have had our enemies, both real and imagined, but never meant no harm. READ MORE
Passport to Crime
by Thomas Przybilka and Gitta List
It was one of those days in the Rhine Valley around Bonn when you didn’t know how the weather would turn out to be—hazy and humid or hazy and cool. The calendar said it was spring, but the day paid no attention to the laws of the four seasons. Instead, it did what it wanted, and at the moment it was behaving like November. READ MORE
by Steve Steinbock
For the past two years I’ve made the mistake of reviewing the many books of Sherlockian interest as they arrived on my desk. This was a mistake, because when it came time to write this column for the yearly issue in tribute to Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars I had to scramble to find relevant books to review. 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