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 Soji (“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!