In EQMM’s May/June 2019 issue, sunny shores contain dark secrets, as in Edgar Award nominated Art Taylor’s “Better Days” and the edge-of-your-seat ride “Hurricane Jonah” by T.J. MacGregor. Speaking of sunshine, join Pat Black’s policemen on a bittersweet day, “The First Day of the School Holidays”—and a private investigator in Mark Stevens’s “A Bitter Thing,” a story taking place in the world of hit rock musicians.
Classical-mystery fans will love the impossible-crime tale “Murder With a Flick of the Wrist” by William Burton McCormick and Carlos Orsi’s locked-room puzzle “Hatred in the House of Prayer.” Ellery Queen fans will delight in the return of The Puzzle Club in Josh Pachter’s pastiche “A Study in Scarlett!”
Several authors take a look at childhood: Anna Scotti in “From Deep Within the Earth, She Smiled” and Marilyn Todd in “Boys Will Be Boys” explore the temperaments of young men, while Sheila Kohler’s “The Darling” looks back on trauma and a family secret. Janice Law’s “My Companion” follows a lonely kid looking for friendship. Other stories explore different family dynamics (see “The Shrew” by Bill Pronzini and Dave Zeltserman’s “Brother’s Keeper” [Black Mask]).
Battles of the past wage on for a soldier in “A Question of Rabbits” by J.L. Orchard (Department of First Stories), a doomed activist in Adrian J. McKinty’s “From Hell,” and characters in the twisty tales “The Duelist,” a historical by David Dean, and “The Workout,” a noirish thriller by Brendan DuBois.
Also not to miss are Chad Baker’s wry “The Smoking Bandit of Lakeside Terrace,” where a miffed tenant in an assisted-living facility sleuths; a haunting bedtime story by Jyotirmoyee Devi Sen translated from the Bengali (“The Queen and the Concubine”); the satirical “The Girl on the Bandwagon” by Martin Edwards (a sly take on psychological suspense); a poem by James Sallis (“Dear Interrogator”), and the results of our 2018 Readers Award contest!
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by T. J. MacGregor
On a Wednesday morning in late September, Owen and I putter around the kitchen, getting ready for work. My iPad Pro is open to FaceTime, and we’re talking with our handsome son.
“So, parents, that hurricane out there.” Craig sits on the living-room couch with Bo, the retriever, in his apartment off campus. “As of the five a.m. advisory, it’s cat three. Maybe headed here, maybe not. You two keeping an eye on it?”
Owen snaps his computer case shut. “What hurricane?”
by Adrian McKinty
Black is the swastika, black is the night, black are the cold waters of the Skagerrak.
Rain pouring down the glass of the double-glazed windows.
We were up on the seventh floor of the hospital and from here on a clear day you could see all the way down the fjord to the ocean beyond. Not that there were many clear days in Trondheim. Not at this time of year.
The doctor put down the folder and gave me a tiny embarrassed shake of the head. She was nervous and perhaps a little too young for a job which often required her to give out devastating news. Nevertheless, I liked her. She was originally from Denmark and we had our foreignness in common. We were both outsiders dragged to this distant shore by what strange stars?
Department of First Stories
by J. L. Orchard
There’s movement to save the rabbits, you say, and am I in favor? you ask. Will I petition my “connections” to declare the wee things free, with the dignity and decency deserved by all respectable rabbits?
In my day, Angelica, grandfathers were only asked to buy chocolate bars in support of school fund-raisers.
That said, my first course of action, naturally, will be to investigate the matter further. I’ll invest in one of those devices you kids follow the news on these days so I can follow the second-by-second eyewitness reports from the picket-wielding activists already on the scene. And then I shall intercede as the pacifist mediator between the pro- and anti-rabbit parties before hutches everywhere are axed open and lawsuits descend
by Dave Zeltserman
The two men who walked into the bar worked for Ned Bishop. Both of them wore dark gray suits with jackets that were a half size too big, to hide their shoulder holsters and provide quicker access to the guns they held. Jack Tomlinson thought the one with the blockier head and cropped gray hair was named Marvin, although he wasn’t sure whether it was the man’s first or last name. The meaner-looking one, with a sharp, angular face and razor-thin lips, was nicknamed Nails, and Jack remembered hearing it was because of the thug’s penchant for hammering nails into the hands of deadbeats.
by Steve Steinbock
As this issue comes off the press, the thirty-first annual Malice Domestic convention in Bethesda, Maryland will be just around the corner. Malice celebrates the traditional detective story, which includes cozies, fair-play mysteries, and historical whodunits. Several of the books in this installment of The Jury Box fit squarely in that category.
by Kristopher Zgorski
The International Thriller Writers society hosts a blog called The Thrill Begins (thrillbegins.com) that posts new content every Tuesday and Thursday. Crime writer Ed Aymar serves as the managing editor and he and the contributing editors oversee posts from a collection of writers collectively known as the Murderers’ Row. Each Tuesday of the month is devoted to a different “topic”—things like publishing, the Debut Diary (a series of posts chronicling the months just before release date of a first book), and How It Happened (stories of getting published by established authors).
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