***Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine – May & June 2016


photo: Brady Wahl, creative commons license

The first mystery when dealing with “The World’s Leading Mystery Magazine” is, what’s the name of this publication stuffed with short stories, anyway? The cover says Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, but the website calls it Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Best just to do what the cognoscenti do and call it EQMM and be done. Always a treasure-trove for mystery lovers, it’s in its 75th year, and all year long is publishing celebratory content.

The International Issue

The May issue is devoted to stories from international authors. Some of those I enjoyed most were:

  • “The Scarecrow’s Revenge” by Paul Halter (France) – this story is copyright 2016, but reads as if it is a Golden Age classic—in style, plot, and theme. Deadly fun.
  • “The Miracle on Christmas Eve” by Szu-Yen Lin (Taiwan) – a sweet story about a widowed father’s determination to preserve the myth of Santa Claus for his young son.
  • “An Elderly Lady Has Accommodation Problems” by Helene Tursten (Sweden) – you shouldn’t underestimate the determination of an old lady to cling to her apartment, in Scandinavia, as elsewhere!

Other stories are from Argentina (Jorge Luis Borges), Angola, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and Belgium and prove, in case proof were needed, that mystery is a universal language.

Mystery Writers of America Issue

In the June issue, the editors pay their respects to the Mystery Writers of America and feature new stories from authors who have won at least one of MWA’s several awards. Again, many riches to choose among, with special appreciation from me of:

  • “Puncher’s Chance” by Doug Allyn, who is not only an MWA winner but a frequent and highly popular author in EQMM. This was one of the best of his I’ve read. He captured the boxing world and the psychology of fighters superbly.
  • “The Unit” by T.J. MacGregor, whose 2002 novel Out of Sight won an Edgar Allen Poe award. I love how her website confesses upfront that her publisher advised her to use initials, not her name (Trish) because, and she quotes, “mysteries by men or androgynous people [think JK Rowling] were outselling mysteries by women”!
  • “The Night Watchman’s Wife” by William Dylan Powell. I’ve read a previous story about boat-dwelling, Lone Star-swilling, unlicensed Texas private investigator Billie and his pet monkey Ringo. Ringo is a charmer. Billie, too. Funny & fun.

Subscribe to EQMM with the link below or find single-issues in the magazine section of your local B&N.

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