Fiction River: Summer Sizzles
In her introduction to Fiction River‘s issue of romantic suspense stories, editor and romance writer Kristine Grayson (pen name of series editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch) says, “I love romantic suspense when it’s done right. When it’s done wrong, it’s seriously mind-numbing.” That must be the type I’d read previously. This issue has made a bit of a convert out of me—I just have to keep finding the good stuff, like these examples:
In Katie Pressa’s story “Night Moves,” a man hospitalized for a head injury that robbed him of his memory kicks into high gear when he’s attacked again. Where did those skills come from? He doesn’t know, but the detective sent to sort out the second attack and prevent another one believes she has a hero on her hands and wants to find out more.
The sparks of romance might be flying between a female helicopter pilot and a laconic Delta Force operator, but their mission in Afghanistan is too dangerous for distractions, in “Flying above the Hindu Kush” by ML Buchman. Super-exciting!
Sabrina Chase’s lighthearted “Need to Know” made me smile. If only real life served up such delicious surprises!
“Totality” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch takes place on the Oregon coast during 2018’s total eclipse and turns it into a tale about a woman whose mentally ill sister is trying to kill herself and the man who may save them both. Nice portrayal of coping with irrationality.
And many more . . .
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
Much to like in the March-April 2020 issue! Especially to my taste were:
The clever police procedural “The Eleventh Commandment” by Paul Charles. So nice to have villains who puts a little thought into their crimes.
Peter Lovesey’s “Lady Luck” is just downright malicious, staring with the ironic first line. Ha!
I’m a fan of John Lantigua’s stories set in Miami’s Little Havana. Like previous ones, “In the War Zone of the Heart” is not only a good story, he spices it up with local culture.
You can read Karr and Wehner’s Passport to Crime story “Here in Tremonia a Crime Fiction Slam . . .” as a long poem, one with a few murders along the way and a happy ending.
In John F. Dobbyn’s entertaining “A Little Help from my Friend,” finally, at last, a story protagonist comes to the aid of his author!
Dave Zeltzerman’s entertaining stories about his modern-day Nero Wolfe/Archie stand-ins Julius Katz and a rectangular bit of hi-grade AI are always fun, especially in “Like a Lightning Bolt,” written from a would-be con-man’s pov. He doesn’t stand a chance.
The polyglot protagonist of Edith Maxwell’s tale, “One Too Many,” discovers she’s just too clever for her own good!
Photo: Carlos Martinez, creative commons license