“The West Texas Rookie”–the first of my stories about young, tiny, Japanese American reporter Brianna Yamato in the macho newsroom of the Sweetwater, Texas, Register. Told to do a wrap-up on a four-victim homicide that no one wants to investigate, Brianna proves there’s always more to find out! She gets the story and you can too, when it appears in a forthcoming issue of Mystery Weekly. Details to come.
Hot off the Press . . . and I do mean hot! Texas hot.
Young reporter Brianna Yamatois stood up one night. But her date has an awfully good excuse. He’s been murdered. The bizarre circumstances stump the authorities until Brianna does what she does best. She digs.
It’s a treat to have this story in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine – July August 2019 and in the company of so many fantastic mystery and crime writers! It’s my fourth story in this prestigious publication (see below for its predecessors.) Find it in the magazine section of your favorite big box bookstore. Or subscribe!
The twenty-one short stories by some of today’s best-known authors in the genre include my story “Who They Are Now,” in which a legendary sportscaster is murdered under cover of a major Florida hurricane. Does an aging Hollywood star hold the key to finding the killer?
An all-around entertaining collection of mayhem! Collection edited by Canadian author Judy Penz Sheluk.
My short story “Above Suspicion” appears in Issue #26 of Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine. It’s my alternative exploration of Boston’s 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist–still unsolved and still the largest art theft and the largest property theft in history. The art hasn’t been recovered, and no arrests have been made. The FBI has stuck to its low-level mobster theory for nearly 30 years. I suggest a totally different brand of thieves.
Quoth the Raven is an award-winning anthology inspired by the groundbreaking writing of Edgar Allan Poe. The challenge was to retain Poe’s eerie sensibility in a story set in the modern day. The anthology includes my tale “Tooth and Nail,” inspired by Poe’s “Berenice” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” which is guaranteed to make you glad you’re not a twin (or are you, unbeknownst . . ?)!
Quoth the Raven recently won the Preditors & Editors annual readers’ poll for “best anthology 2018.” It was published on the 169th anniversary of Poe’s mysterious death. Available through Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. Or here through Amazon.
Fall 2017: “The Penitent” was one of 18 stories (of 116 submissions) selected for the Bouchercon Anthology entitled Passport to Murder, a collection nominated for a 2018 Anthony Award. Order your copy here!
April 2017: “Burning Bright” appears in this collection of crime fiction stories: Busted: Arresting Stories from the Beat. It’s a sentimental favorite for me, about a Wisconsin deputy sheriff determined to save a tiger from local ne’er-do-wells. I hope you enjoy it! “Burning Bright” won an Honorable Mention from the Public Safety Writers Association, the only published short story to receive an award in 2017.
April 2017: Murder Among Friends, an anthology of mystery stories making some allusion to noted 19th c. American author John Greenleaf Whittier, includes a reprint of my short story “The Flock.” This is a fundraiser for the JGW Birthplace Museum. Good stories and a good cause!
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine has a 75-year history, is billed as “the world’s leading mystery magazine,” and has almost 40,000 print and online subscribers, and is one of the most important paying markets for short mystery writers. It’s a big deal for me to be published there!
“A Slaying Song Tonight” – lead story in EQMM’s holiday edition (January/February 2017) edition. The story begins. . .
To Martin Benet, the blinking red-blue emergency lights looked rather festive. Still, he would bet they didn’t bring glad tidings.
Reader Comments: “The sleight of hand (not sure a better term) about what the story is about: trying to solve the mystery (alongside the characters and increasingly suspicious ourselves!) while what’s really at stake is [something else]….. Really just an enjoyable read, and surprising in its resolution and its effect. Congratulations!”
“Premeditation” – A Eugenia Clarke Mystery – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, February 2012 – Eugenia is haunted by the grizzly death of a solo hiker in Gates of the Arctic National Park, only to uncover a much more sinister double murder plot. Yes, I know how to spell grisly; I was making a pun. However, I’ve since noticed the word is frequently misspelled. I take no responsibility.
“Evidence” – A Eugenia Clarke Mystery – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, August 2007 Eugenia believes the young women in her tour group are about to be snared in a smuggler’s trap, or are they?
US 1 Summer Fiction Issue
“John Abbott’s Kitchen Boy” – 2017 – Based on historical events, a young boy saves New Jersey’s War of Independence-era treasure.
Reader Comment: “Channeling your inner twelve-year-old!”
“What Would Jimmy Stewart Do?” – 2016 – A movie star lookalike (and Princeton alum) embraces his alter ego.
Reader Comments: “Loved the theme………….cool idea!” “Got a big chuckle out of your story. Felt like I was watching a short film, not reading a short story. Fun details and dovetails with dialogue.”
“What Saved Them” – 2015 – A self-effacing clergyman finds hidden strengths when he vows to save a woman in peril. But who saved whom?
“War of the Worlds” – 2014; reprinted by AntiquityNOW , 10/31/14; reprinted in an October 2016 issue of the online magazine, Kings River Life – The fiery maples outside a reclusive woman’s home burn like the ghosts of her past.
Reader comments: “Great Story, Vicki….had me on the edge of my seat!”; “Truly a frightening tale.”; “I could literally picture it all!”
“Never Here When I Need Him” – 2012 – a woman prepares dinner while waiting for her husband. He’s late. Very.
Reader comments: “This topic/subject/idea will disrupt – and matter to – many other readers.” “Very powerful. Beautiful, moving writing.”
“Windjammer” – 2011 – A Manhattan sophisticate purchases his dream vacation cottage in Cape May, N.J., and finds it haunted by a vengeful 19th century sea captain.
Book & Theater Reviews
My reviews of crime and fiction novels appear on the UK website, Crime Fiction Lover, as well as this site.
Theater reviews appear on The Front Row Center website, as well as here (a bit sooner there).
In March and October, members of the Room At The Table writing group, which I belong to, read excerpts of our works aloud, generally at the Lawrenceville (Main) Branch of the Mercer County Library. Watch for announcements on our Facebook page.
Next reading: Wednesday, October 23, 2019. Refreshments: 6:45; readings: 7-9.
Come be entertained!