EQMM’s September/October issue ushers in autumn with specters of all kinds. In “No Peace for the Wicked” by Martin Edwards, a dead woman hovers around those left behind to discover her killer. We welcome a lively skeleton to our pages with the EQMM debut of Leigh Perry’s series character Sid in “The Skeleton Rides a Horse,” set amongst fans of a TV Western. Ghosts appear within another fan community (those obsessed with the Black Dahlia), in Paul D. Marks’s “The Wraith of Bunker Hill.” John Dziuban’s “Down the Mine” (Department of First Stories) involves a haunting—or is it an hallucination? Series sleuth Santa Ezerina unravels the mystery of strange lights in the sky in “The Celta Wave Conundrum” by William Burton McCormick, and a mythical creature of the night appears to stalk victims in Jane Jakeman’s “The Edinburg Vampire.”
If you prefer more solid, less fantastical ground, you’ll enjoy the hunt in “The Hideout” by Bernard Onken (Black Mask department), “Dogs in the Canyon” by Mark Harrison (Department of First Stories), and “Sound Moral Character” by Hal Charles. Being watched or tracked isn’t always bad, though, as we find in “The Light on the Lagoon” by Elizabeth Elwood.
In Art Taylor’s “We Are All Strangers Here” and Anne Swardson’s postwar tale “Uncaged,” the point-of-view characters may each have figured out the perfect murder, while in “Police Technique” by Pierre Very (Passport to Crime) the culprit only thinks he’s got everyone stumped by the seemingly impossible crime.
Elsewhere, despite the good they try to do, protagonists find danger lurking, as in Twist Phelan’s “The Kindness of Strangers,” the story of two night-clubbing teens; David Dean’s “Deconstruction,” involving construction-site graft; Joseph S. Walker’s “Cleaning Day,” about an interfering aunt; and “Publish or Perish” by Smita Harish Jain, focused on a grab for academic research.
Speaking of academic matters, who determines the correct pronunciation of a word? Read about a real dispute over a word that led to murder in Dean Jobb’s column Stranger Than Fiction. And don’t miss our Jury Box or Blog Bytes columns either!
Our readers are important to us, and in this issue we present the winners of the 2021 EQMM Readers Award! Look for our September/October 2022 issue on sale at newsstands on August 16, 2022. Or subscribe to EQMM in print or in a wide variety of digital formats.