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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 will be able to sympathize with them better than ever after the two years of extreme conditions we’ve all just endured.

National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates portrays a woman’s reaction to her sister’s disappearance in the novella “33 Clues Into the Disappearance of my Sister.” The past catches up to characters in intriguingly different ways in “Justice” by Cath Staincliffe, “Tomorrow” by David Dean, and the Department of First Stories entry “Strangler Fig” by Ralph Hornbeck. We see what desperate people do when put to a sudden test in “Rising Sun” (also from the Department of First Stories) by Jameson Trahearne and “The Rendezvous” by Tim Baker—and how this can lead to extreme behavior, as in Wendy Hornsby’s post-pandemic-era “Cardigans,” Anna Scotti’s mind-bending “Schrödinger, Cat,” and Edith Maxwell’s angry-neighbor piece “Bye-Bye, Jojo.”

Technological and social change feature in Peter Tremayne’s Shakespearean-era “Now Go We in Content,” Lou Manfredo’s 1970s police procedural “Sundown,” “Once Again” by Dave Zeltserman, set in the early days of the pandemic, and “Morbid Phenomena of the Most Varied Kind” by Mat Coward, which follows two witless youths attempting to use a politician to their advantage.

And what does it look like to experience a situation as an outsider? Find out in Ashley-Ruth M. Bernier’s “Rise,” “Russian for Beginners” by Dominique Biebau (from the Passport to Crime Department), “Another Saturday Night” by Michael Caleb Tasker, “The Footless Phantom” by Tom Mead, and “Send in the Clowns” by Paul Charles, a DCI Christy Kennedy mystery set in an exclusive historical home.

Despite an ever-changing world, the pages of EQMM remain full of time-tested features, including our book-review, blog-review, and true-crime columns. Look for our March/April 2022 issue on sale at newsstands on February 15, 2022. Or subscribe to EQMM in print or in a wide variety of digital formats.

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