EQMM’s July/August issue takes the subgenre of workplace mysteries to whole new realms, with tales surrounding wind-energy consultants (“New Energy” by Vicki Weisfeld), a nineteenth-century thief-taker (“The Cripplegate Apprehension” by Richard Helms), an oyster farmer in a gentrifying neighborhood (“Oystermen” by Michael Bracken), and embalmers—of sorts (“Day of the Jackal” by Marilyn Todd). In the Passport to Crime Department, we even meet a ventriloquist and other members of a circus troupe (see Takemaru Abiko’s impossible-crime tale “A Smart Dummy in the Tent”). A couple of stories feature workers from behind the desk in hotels or motels, the intriguing but melancholy “Do Not Disturb” by Steve Hockensmith, and the shadowy and riveting “The Long-Term Tenant” by Tara Laskowski (a Black Mask story). The pragmatic narrator in Aoife Clifford’s “Crossing Bridges,” too, is brought into a tough situation at her retail gig, but she secretly suspects someone else.
Of course, many characters are more interested in their extracurricular activities, like the writers in “Murderers’ Row” by Chris Holm, the barista in “Rionach, My Queen” by James Hadley Griffin (a First story), the Latvian jewelry expert in V. S. Kemanis’s “Dzintra’s Tale,” and the do-it-yourselfer in “Left for Dead” by S. J. Rozan.
Family secrets and other deceptions can complicate a job, as they do in Brendan DuBois’s “Her Sister’s Secrets,” in Tony Fisher’s twisty “Tingo” (from the Department of First Stories), in R.T. Raichev’s new Antonia Darcy mystery involving a cosmetic surgeon, “The Mysterious Affair at Osiris House,” and in “There Are Just Some Things a Rat Won’t Do,” a Hennessey and Yellich procedural by Peter Turnbull.
Some characters probably won’t be making it in to work at all, as in the harrowing “Heat” by Trey Dowell and the stunner “Rude Awakening” by Twist Phelan. Don’t miss this issue, perfect for lunch-break reading!
Look for our July/August 2019 issue on sale at newsstands on June 13, 2019. Or subscribe to EQMM in print or in a wide variety of digital formats.