EQMM’s November/December issue showcases three P.I. teams: 1890s San Francisco’s Carpenter and Quincannon (in “Smoke Screen” by Bill Pronzini), Julius Katz and Archie (in “Archie for Hire” by Dave Zeltserman, wherein Archie sets out his own shingle), and Jason Stafford and his unique, youthful helpmate in the financial-crimes murder mystery “The Honest End of Sybil Cooper” by Michael Sears. A police duo—Auburn and Dollinger—tackles converging cases in John H. Dirckx’s “Where the Red Lines Meet.”
Young folks are inadvertently involved in crimes in O.A.Tynan’s chilling “Jenny’s Necklace,” Anna Scotti’s haunting “Krikon the Ghoul Hunter,” and Reed Johnson’s timely and touching “Open House.”
On the home front, Barb Goffman serves up an unnerving Thanksgiving feast for her con man in “Bug Appétit,” while Marilyn Todd’s reverend’s wife meets with a final ironic twist in “Long Slow Dance Through the Passage of Time.”
Past deeds and the need to reconcile one’s own actions feature in both Department of First Stories tales, “The Screening,” by Australian Jehane Sharah, and “Duty, Honor, Hammett,” by Stacy Woodson (the latter set in Arlington Cemetery). Similarly, central characters in “Race to Judgment” by Craig Faustus Buck and “Take Care, Love” by Jean-Paul Mourlevat (a rising politician and a student, respectively) find themselves reflecting on their private notions of justice.
“Lake Desolation” by Dennis McFadden, “Human Resources” by David Dean, and “A House in the Country” by Susan Dunlap all put the phrase “wrong place/wrong time” to the test. What will McFadden’s young couple, Dean’s lazy employee, and Dunlap’s housewife do when faced with crimes of circumstance?
Peter Lovesey’s “Agony Column” proves relevant to mystery fans in an unexpected way. And one more investigator you might recognize returns: Josh Pachter brings us a special story, “50,” on the 50th anniversary of his first publication in EQMM.
The Readers Award ballot is in this issue. Please vote!