Partnerships are key in crime, and in our May/June issue. “The Third Lady” by Robert Edward Eckels welcomes back two con men who have gone straight, and in “Down the Fire Road” a deputy attempts to help his long-suffering sheriff while they deal with twin sisters. Charles Hewitt and his mother-in-law Magdalene solve a crime on vacation in G.M. Malliet’s “The Pact,” and in “A Cruise to Eternity” by John Lantigua, several former MPD partners reunite on an action-packed ride. A P.I. partnership works like clockwork in “What’s the Holdup?” by Sandra Murphy.
Doubles and counterparts also emerge, as in “The Incurious Man” by Terence Faherty (a curious Owen Keane finds a “parallel person”), Libby Cudmore’s “Wait for the Blackout” (a victim mirrors Martin Wade’s past), and “The Wendigo Spell” by Paul Halter (twins have a deadly connection). Ken Linn’s “A Flash of Headlights” finds a man facing down a car in mirror image, but to what consequences? And in “Chalk” by Bill Pronzini, a burglar sees—what? Himself?
With intense connections, loyalty and revenge are sure to play a part. In “Drive, Mary” by Archer Sullivan (Department of First Stories), loyalty to a cousin sets a woman on a dangerous road, while in “Squatter’s Rites” by Hal Charles, a DEA agent avenges his partner’s death. A grandson recounts his grandfather’s adventures on the fringes of crime in “The Life and Times of Big Poppa” by Michael A. Gonzales, and in “The Body in Cell Two” by Kate Hohl (Department of First Stories), a small-town jail worker faces a conflict between justice and loyalty. In “Something Blue” by L.A. Wilson, Jr., a P.I. encounters a similar dilemma.
Partnerships gone wrong figure in “Judge Not” by Twist Phelan, as a judge gets into a pickle trying to rid himself of his new wife, and in “Friday the Thirteenth” by Marilyn Todd, where it’s a jilted wife who sets things in motion.
Readers and publishers are iconic partners, and in this issue we’ll announce your choices of our 2022 Readers Award winners!
Look for our May/June 2023 issue on sale at newsstands on April 18, 2023. Or subscribe to EQMM in print or in a wide variety of digital formats.