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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022

Welcome to EQMM! Featuring the world’s most celebrated crime writers alongside brilliant new voices. Cutting-edge content includes suspense thrillers, whodunits, and noir, reviews, and an editor’s blog. Join us … if you dare! 

EXCERPTS:
Bad News
Steve Hockensmith

The Musgrave Ritual
Terence Faherty

DEPARTMENT OF FIRST STORIES:
Into Thin Air
Karen Jobst


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The characters of mystery fiction are often described as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. That’s true of the characters in the March/April 2022 issue of EQMM, and readers . . . .

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FROM THE EDITOR
Welcome to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. My editorship of EQMM began in the summer of 1991 following a call from then editor Eleanor Sullivan, who was helping in the search for her successor. I was mystery-fiction editor at Walker & Company at the time, and had charge of a series of anthologies of EQMM stories. The connection would provide an entrée to a whole new world of publishing.

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Launched in 1941, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine set the standard for the modern crime and mystery short story. EQMM offers outstanding literary quality, an expansive reach across the whole range of mystery and crime fiction, and a global orientation in its story selection. 

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Meet Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine’s authors! In addition to discovering an impressive Who's Who of internationally renowned writers, you'll learn about authors in the current issue, read what they have to say at the EQMM blog, and more. Visit often—there's always something new!

CURRENT ISSUE
Following tradition, EQMM rings in the year in Holmesian fashion. Our January/February 2022 issue contains a new Sherlock Holmes parody from the lost manuscripts of Dr. Watson (“The Musgrave Ritual” by Terence Faherty) and another wintry addition to Steve Hockensmith’s Holmes on the Range series, set after Holmes’s presumed death at Reichenbach Falls (“Bad News”). Another beloved sleuth reappears in Josh Pachter’s “Their Last Bow,” the final tale in his Ellery Queen Puzzle Club series.

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Get the latest news, enjoy stories only available here, check out Editor Janet Hutchings’ blog, enjoy engaging podcasts, view the photo gallery of EQMM personalities. Check it out.

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An Inside Look

excerpt1_Bad-News-MarkEvanWalker
Art by Mark Evan Walker

Bad News 

by Steve Hockensmith

Urias Smythe
Smythe & Associates
Publishing, Ltd.
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York

Dear Mr. Smythe:

I am delighted to hear that my latest literary effort meets with your approval and look forward to seeing it printed with the usual Smythe & Associates panache. Admittedly, I would have preferred it had you kept the title I supplied, “The Double-A Western Detective Agency”—free advertising for our fledgling enterprise here in Ogden. But I will bow once again to your instincts as to the fickle tastes of the reading public. I won’t dwell on the fact that I offered up the alternative you’ve chosen to use (“Cowboy Brothers Battle the New Mexico Death Baron!”) as a joke to illustrate exactly the kind of title I didn’t want. No, I shall not dwell on that at all—though I will perhaps take more care with the jokes I make in the future. (This would, no doubt, make my brother a happy man. Or a slightly less unhappy one, anyway.)

I wasn’t idle while awaiting word on the new book. In fact, I had but a few days to work the cramps out of my writing hand before fate—with a little assistance from the United States Postal Service—offered fodder for a whole new adventure. The A.A. Western Detective Agency is still very much in need of clients, and a potential one had contacted our partner Col. Crowe with a case that seemed right in my brother’s line: A Colorado newspaperman had been stopped by a menacing, cloak-clad bandit who relieved him not of his valuables but of that morning’s edition.

Old Red wasn’t thrilled about the where of it: in Littleton, just below Denver and a long day of rail travel south of Ogden. The who, what, why, and how were enticing enough to coax him to the depot, though, despite his hatred of trains. When we stepped off in Littleton he looked peaked and grumpy, but only slightly more so than usual, and I complimented him on how he’d weathered the preceding hours of shimmying and shaking.

“I suppose practice really does make perfect,” I said. “Why, another dozen or so trips on trains and maybe you’ll be able to ride one without looking like you’re gonna upchuck.”

I waited with bated breath to see which response this would get: icy silence or “Feh.” I am not a gambling man, but I’d have staked my life savings ($345.23, thank you very much) on it being one or the other.

“Yeah . . . maybe,” Old Red muttered, and he went striding off past the little snow-dusted depot building, carpetbag in hand.

I guess it’s a good thing I’m not a gambling man.

I’d say I know my brother like the back of my hand even though it’s another kind of backside he more often brings to mind. (The kind attached to a horse.) But as you’ll no doubt recall from “Cowboy Brothers Battle the New Mexico Death Baron!” (née “The Double-A Western Detective Agency”), there’s been a change in him of late on account of distressing news from abroad.

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excerpt2_The-Musgrave-Ritual_JasonCEckhardtArt by Jason C. Eckhardt

The Musgrave Ritual

by Terence Faherty

EDITOR’S NOTE

We here present the earliest known draft of Sherlock Holmes’s famous treasure-hunt mystery, “The Musgrave Ritual.” Like the prior entry in this scholarly series, “The Gloria Scott,” “The Musgrave Ritual” dates from Holmes’s first years as an investigator, before Dr. John Watson became his collaborator and biographer. The good doctor seems to have been even more ruthless when preparing these early cases for publication than he was when reworking the investigations in which he took part. As this recently rediscovered draft shows, “The Musgrave Ritual,” like “The Gloria Scott,” was thoroughly reimagined before its appearance in The Strand Magazine. Sherlockians will note with interest that this version of “Musgrave” is also a precursor to another tale, “The Greek Interpreter,” in that it features a character whose intelligence is equal to, if not greater than, Holmes’s own.

As has been our practice, we have placed Watson’s editing notes and corrections in the body of the text in parentheses.

In any public house or snooker parlor, my friend Sherlock Holmes was the most amiable companion one could hope to meet. But within his own rooms, he was prone to lapse into habits that would drive a fellow lodger to contemplate blunt instruments and sharp objects and even hair-trigger revolvers in an un-healthy manner. It was not just his indoor batting practice, though I’ve always held cricket to be a pastime best enjoyed in the open air, or his malodorous experiments with home brewing, the products of which would regularly fire off their corks like so many Boxer cartridges. No, the chief problem was Holmes’s tendency to accumulate paper. Like many a careless person, he was afraid to throw a single sheet away lest it should later prove valuable. But he would only stir himself at long intervals to examine the bits of scrap obscuring our carpet to gauge the worth of each.

One winter evening as we sat by the hearth, I suggested that he might want to plow the current drifts before a stray spark from the fire ignited them—and us. Acknowledging our peril with a sigh, he retreated to his bedroom, emerging a moment later dragging a large packing case adorned with faded advertisements for a patent medicine, “Hostetter’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters.” When he pried off the lid, I could see that it was already one-third full of ribbon-bound packets.

“If you knew what treasures lie within, Watson, you’d be begging me to empty this box rather than fill it.”

“That’s what you think,” I replied. “Do you know how long it’s been since we last saw our gasogene?”

“The bottom layer,” Holmes said, ignoring my question, “contains the records of my earliest cases.”

“Less stalling and more stuffing, please.”

“They document some of my best work, if I say so myself.”

“You are saying so,” I observed. 

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