***Three Ellery Queens

Green Door, Arizona

(photo: Vicki Weisfeld)

The three latest Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines contain 31 short stories—historical, locked room, humorous, and many other splinter categories from U.S. and international authors. Reaching into this Santa’s bag of offerings, I’ll pull out some of my favorites:

  • “The Lure of the Green Door” by Norizuki Rintarō is a locked room mystery featuring a Japanese sleuth named, yes, Norizuki Rintarō and his humorously prickly girlfriend Sawada Honami. Says EQMM, he’s part of the “new traditionalist” movement in Japanese mystery writing, emphasizing puzzles, and he’s put together a good one here! (11/14)
  • Suzanne Arruda’s “Deep Shaft” effectively conjures Prohibition-era Kansas and the trouble city slicker outsiders can get themselves into. She’s the author of the mystery series featuring adventuresome, world-traveling photojournalist Jade Del Cameron Mysteries set in WWI and the 1920s. (11/14)
  • “Getaway Girl,” by Zoë Z. Dean, her first published story and one with a great last line: “there was something terrifying about a girl that good at living.” (11/14)
  • Joyce Carol Oates’s equivocal “Equatorial” is an accomplished cat-and-mouse game, but who is which? (12/14)
  • “Concrete Town” by Michael Wiley is set mostly in a bar, perhaps inspired by work on his irresistibly titled detective novel, The Bad Kitty Lounge. (12/14)
  • Another first story, “Chung Ling Soo’s Greatest Trick,” by Russell W. Johnson, was most entertaining, but then, I like mysteries featuring magicians! (1/15)
  • Accomplished novelist Kristine Kathryn Rusch wrote the tension-filled “Christmas Eve at the Exit” about a woman’s attempted escape from an abusive husband. (1/15)

Always something to admire in these EQMM collections! Available in many bookstores and digitally.