Thursday, November 16, 2017

SMFS Member Publication News: William Burton McCormick

SMFS Member William Burton McCormick's short story, "Matricide and Ice Cream" appears in the new anthology, CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour. Edited by Martin Edwards, the anthology contains 28 stories from members  of the Crime Writer's Association. Published overseas by Orenda Books, and available at Amazon UK,  the book will be available  in the US in hardback form next February and paperback in May.

From the Amazon UK synopsis:

Highlights of the trip include a treacherous cruise to French Polynesia, a horrifying trek in South Africa, a murderous train-ride across Ukraine and a vengeful killing in Mumbai. But back home in the UK, life isn't so easy either. Dead bodies turn up on the backstreets of Glasgow, crime writers turn words into deeds at literary events, and Lady Luck seems to guide the fate of a Twickenham hood. Showcasing the range, breadth and vitality of the contemporary crime-fiction genre, these twenty-eight chilling and unputdownable stories will take you on a trip you'll never forget.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

SMFS Member Publication News: Jennifer Soosar

SMFS Member Jennifer Soosar's short story "The Settlement" appears in the Spinetingler Magazine Fall 2017 issue. Published by Down & Out books, the current issue is available in digital and print formats at Amazon and other vendors.

Monday, November 13, 2017

SMFS Member Publication News: O’Neil De Noux

SMFS Member O’Neil De Noux’s latest book, The Great Beau, is available at Amazon in digital and print forms.  This is the fourth book in the John Raven Beau series.

From the synopsis on Amazon…

The mysterious death of an elderly man draws NOPD Chief Inspector John Raven Beau into a complex case involving priceless art, stolen Nazi loot, a dead deerhound, a haughty countess, a ruthless killer and featuring the irresistible NUDE IN RED woman. Bang. Bang. The shocks keep coming when a priceless cache is found hidden in an uptown attic – a legendary treasure which stuns archaeologists, forensic scientists, historians and the entire art world. Has NOPD located one of the great treasures of the ancient world? How does Beau become a Hero of the French Republic? One shock after another. A suspected heart attack surfaces a rare poison so it’s murder. Are those Frederic Remington original paintings on the wall? They are immediately stolen. What’s in the old box in the antique shop? Anyone heard of Titian? Master of the 16th Century Venetian School of artists, a Renaissance artist who painted the same time as Da Vinci and Michelangelo? Could this be his last painting, Aphrodite and the Painter, lost in 1576? How did it end up in New Orleans? Who is killing people to get this art? 

NOPD’s Critical Investigations Unit (CIU) was formed for this type of case and Chief Inspector John Raven Beau uses the skills he honed as a homicide detective to sift through the clues. He seems to be a step behind the murderer-thieves but he is the relentless pursuer, the half-Sioux, half-Cajun who carries an obsidian war knife and a 9mm Glock he’s already killed with. The world is amazed at with this case and John Raven Beau goes to Paris for a short vacation and a fateful rendezvous with the Legion of Honor. 

From SHAMUS and DERRINGER Award winner O’Neil De Noux comes the fourth novel in the critically acclaimed New Orleans Police series featuring half-Cajun, half-Sioux JOHN RAVEN BEAU. Assigned as Chief Inspector to command NOPD’s new CIU – Critical Investigations Unit – Beau brings his unique talents to investigate special cases.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Little Big Crimes Review: Precision Thinking by Jim Fusilli

Little Big Crimes: Precision Thinking, by Jim Fusilli: "Precision Thinking," by Jim Fusilli, in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, November/December 2017. Last week I wrote about a ...

SMFS Member Publication News: Bern Sy Moss

SMFS Member Bern Sy Moss' short story "Consequences" appears in the Spinetingler Magazine Fall 2017 issue. Published by Down & Out books, the current issue is available in digital and print formats at Amazon and other vendors.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

SMFS Member Publication News: Kaye George

Kings River Life is reprinting a story of mine, "Swinging on a Star" that was posted by Jack Bates awhile ago. The setting is post WWII Hollywood. This was a stretch for me, but I had fun with the research.

SMFS Member Publication News: Lo Monaco

SMFS Member Lo Monaco's newly published book, Lethal Relations, is available in both eBook and print formats at Amazon. The eBook is currently FREE.

From the synopsis:

Terry Strong is a PI with a Black Belt in Taekwondo and a ceaseless determination.

Fred Greene has been murdered…in his own home while watching TV. The police have arrested his girlfriend, Barbara Metcalf. But Barbara’s brother, attorney Donald Remick doesn’t believe she did it.
Remick hires Terry to prove Barbara’s innocence. But it won’t be easy. All the evidence points right to Barbara. Even Fred’s son, Robert, believes Barbara shot his father. She had been at the Greene residence that night just as Robert was leaving. Later that night, Fred was found dead…by Barbara.

Trying to untie all the twisted knots of relationships has Terry frustrated and confused while at the same time, her relationship with her sometime SO, Carl Black, compounds the stress. Adding to that the puzzling connection between Robert Greene and Donald Remick’s daughter, Sylvia, makes this a mystifying and difficult case to solve.

Terry finally unweaves all the strands and with the help of her Black Belt, brings this case to a shocking conclusion which no one expected.

Guest Post: How An Anthology Chose Its Own Theme by Elizabeth Zelvin

Back last September, Elizabeth Zelvin announced the publication of a new anthology, Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4. Not only did SMFS member Elizabeth Zelvin edit the book, the work included her story as well as stories by SMFS members Joseph R.G. DeMarco, Nina Mansfield, Anita Page, and Cathi Stoler. Please welcome back to the SMFS blog, Elizabeth Zelvin who shares how the theme of the anthology came together.

How An Anthology Chose Its Own Theme

Elizabeth Zelvin

Writers know how fictional characters can get the bit between their teeth and gallop off in directions the author would never have taken them. Saying, "Whoa, Nellie!" doesn't work. There's no choice but to go along with it—and in the end, the story or novel is the better for it.

In compiling and editing Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4, the fourth anthology of crime and mystery short stories by members of the New York/Tri-State Chapter of Sisters in Crime, I found that it's not only fictional characters who take over the creative process to the benefit of the final product. In this case, the theme of the anthology was hijacked by the collective unconscious of the authors who contributed stories. Furthermore, they did so without any sense of departing from the original stated theme, as in a sense, they did not. "Nellie"—what really grabbed the reins and took off like the Wild Hunt—was New York itself.

From the Introduction to Where Crime Never Sleeps:

Our original intent was to devote [Murder New York Style 4] to New York attractions: landmarks and events that draw visitors to our city, perhaps with visitors as the protagonists, victims, and killers in the stories. Our storytellers had other ideas. You will read about the Brooklyn Bridge in these pages, along with the Museum of Natural History, the running track around the Central Park reservoir, and Carnegie Hall. But the characters who inhabit these places and breathe life into these stories are New Yorkers. To them, the iconic places of New York are not attractions to be gawked at, but the places where they go about their lives. So we went with what we got, and our theme became the infinite variety of New Yorkers and the uniqueness of New Yorkishness.

The submissions we received completely disregarded the suggestion to write about visitors. How many New Yorkers find visitors of consuming interest, when the city is filled with so many fascinating and endlessly diverse New Yorkers?

From the Introduction:

The term “New York attitude” is overused, and not enough is said about what it really is. Forget the caricature of crude pugnaciousness, the New Yorker as nihilist giving the rest of the world the finger. I think the real attitude is the New Yorker’s ease in her skin (or his), a way of being thoroughly at home in his (or her) New York world—or worlds, because New York consists of hundreds, thousands of worlds. The authors of these stories have given us a glimpse into a few of these many worlds. What constitutes the look, the sound and smell and taste of New York? It all depends on the senses of the individual and which New York that person currently inhabits. 

Inevitably, these worlds intersect. It is said that psychologically Americans require eight feet of personal space around them, more than any other people on earth. In a crowded subway car at rush hour, they’re lucky if they get eight inches. And crowding leads to conflict and drama—perfect for stories of crime and murder. In each of these stories, the most unlikely characters rub elbows with one another. [One story] features a devotee of Stanislavsky, a bunch of “hormonal and over-caffeinated” high school kids, and a gorilla. [Another] throws together a Rockefeller Center tour guide with a PhD and a school of executive sharks with harassed underlings nipping at their tail fins in “the profitable world of schlock TV.”

It's no wonder that when the members of the New York/Tri-State Chapter of Sisters in Crime sat down to write a submittable story, they were thinking not about whether the Brooklyn Bridge is more popular with visitors than the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, or Central Park (it's not, but it topped our list, while of the highest ranked three, only Central Park made the anthology) but about how we New Yorkers are arguably (and oh, how we love to argue!) the most interesting people in the world.

Elizabeth Zelvin ©2017

Elizabeth Zelvin is the author of the Mendoza Family Saga, and the Bruce Kohler Mysteries, as well as numerous short stories.  Liz's stories have been nominated three times for the Agatha and twice for the Derringer Award for Best Short Story. Another story was listed in BEST AMERICAN MYSTERIES 2014. Her author website is at

Friday, November 10, 2017

SMFS Members Published in Snowbound: Best New England Crime Stories 2017

SMFS Members published in the anthology, Snowbound: Best New England Crime Stories 2017 are Michael Bracken, Dayle A.Dermatis, Patricia Dusenbury, Edith Maxwell, LD Masterson as well as Andrew Welsh-Huggins who won the 2017 Al Blanchard Award. This is the fifteenth volume of this long running anthology series and is available from the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors.

"A.K.A. Bob Jones" by Michael Bracken.

 "Voices Carry" by Dayle A.Dermatis.

"Unstrung Quartet" by  Patricia Dusenbury.

"An Ominous Silence" by Edith Maxwell.

"The Murderous Type" by Andrew Welsh-Huggins (Al Blanchard Award).

"All That Sparkles" by LD Masterson.

SMFS Member Publications News: Jacqueline Seewald

SMFS Member Jacqueline Seewald announced on her blog earlier this week the news of the publication of her novella, THE BURNING, by Annorlunda Books. Jacqueline is also hosting a giveaway for her book that is based on her award winning play inspired by true life events. Details on how to win a digital or print copy of the book are available on Jacqueline Seewald's blog. The Book is available from the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors and those links are also available in the same blog post.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Friday, November 3, 2017

SMFS Members Published in Mystery Weekly Magazine: November 2017

The November 2017 issue of Mystery Weekly Magazine features works by three SMFS members. The issue is available from the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors. SMFS members in this issue are:

Joseph D’Agnese with his short story, ‘Her Father’s Killer.”

Debra H. Goldstein with her short story, “Day After Thanksgiving Soup.”
Also included in this issue is “A You-Solve-It” whodunit by Peter DiChellis.

SMFS Members Published in The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos

Recently published in eBook and print, The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos features short stories from a number of SMFS members. The book is available by way of the publisher, Untreed Reads, Amazon, and other vendors. The following members who have reported their stories in this edition are:

“Ginger Snapped” by Betsy Bitner.

“The Nameless Turkey Trot of Terror” by Bobbi Chukran.

“Kid Kelly” by Herschel Cozine.

“Death For Dessert” by Dave Goudsward writing as DG Critchley.

“A Family Affair” by Liz Millron. 

“Turkey Underfoot” by KM Rockwood.

“Stakeout In A Maple Tree” by Earl Staggs. 

“The Mac Salad Killer” by Albert Tucher.

Monday, October 30, 2017

SMFS Member Publication News: Barb Goffman

Barb Goffman’s Agatha award nominated short story, Evil Little Girl, originally published in 2013 has now been published again in the new anthology Killing It Softly 2: A Digital Horror Fiction Anthology of Short Stories (The Best by Women in Horror). The eBook is available at Amazon and the print version should be out in the next couple of weeks.

Little Big Crimes Review: PX Christmas by Martin Limón

Little Big Crimes: PX Christmas, by Martin Limón: "PX Christmas," by Martin Limón, in The Usual Santas,   Soho Crime, 2017. Martin Limón writes exclusively about Asia and most ...

Friday, October 27, 2017

SMFS Member Published: R.V. Reyes

SMFS Member R. V. Reyes has a short story, Fish Fried, in the anthology, Happy Homicides 6: Cookin Up Crime. It is available at Amazon for ninety-nine cents until November 5th.  More info about the book and a related contest can be found at the author’s blog.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

SMFS Members Published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine November/December 2017

SMFS Members Eve Fisher, Robert S. Levinson, Robert Lopresti, Susan Oleksiw, and B.K. Stevens, were published in the latest issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine November/December 2017. 

Eve Fisher's story is "Darkness Visible."

Robert S. Levinson’s story is "The House Across The Street."

Robert Lopresti’s story is "The Chair Thief."

Susan Oleksiw’s story is “A Slight Deviation From The Mean.”

B. K. Steven’s story is “Death Under Construction.”

The issue is available from Dell Magazines, Amazon, and other vendors.

SMFS Members Published in Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine Issue 23

SMFS Members Stephen Liskow and Robert Lopresti were published in the latest issue of Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine Issue #23. 

Stephen Liskow’s story is “Death by Water.”

Robert Lopresti’s story is The Cop Who Liked Gilbert and Sullivan.” Robert also has the distinction of having his name listed on the cover.

The issue is available from Wildside Press, Amazon, and other vendors.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

SMFS Member Publication News: Elizabeth Zelvin

Elizabeth Zelvin reports:

The November/December issue of Ellery Queen is out, with, I'm proud to say, my name on the cover along with Charlaine Harris's  and Doug Allyn's and my story, "Death Will Help You Imagine," inside, right after Bill Pronzini's. It's well worth the wait of almost 20 months from submission to print to be keeping such great company, especially since it was accepted way back in 2016 and I got paid for it shortly afterward. 


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

SMFS Member Publication News: Peter DiChellis

My crime-horror piece “Stegmann’s Basement” is free to read at Spelk Fiction.

Storyline: After a botched robbery a young criminal flees into a creepy basement.

For those not familiar with this market, Spelk is a popular U.K.-based site that accepts flash up to 500 words (all genres, literary). Non-paying, but seems to yield wide exposure, including via social media.

Peter DiChellis

Monday, October 2, 2017

SMFS Member Publication News--John M. Floyd

In addition to his short story, Knight Vision, in the current issue of Flash Bang Mysteries, John is again in Woman's World. This time he has Charlotte in Charge is in the current (October 9) issue of Woman’s World. He also sends word that his short story Travelers is in the anthology Visions VII: Universe (Rogue Star Press).

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Little Big Crimes Review: Do Not Pass Go by James Blakey

Little Big Crimes: Do Not Pass Go, by James Blakey: "Do Not Pass Go," by James Blakey, in Mystery Weekly Magazine, September 2017. I admit it.  I am a sucker for this sort of th...


The latest issue of Flash Bang Mysteries is now up and features work from SMFS members.

The Last by Michael Bracken
School Spirit by Larry W. Chavis
The Hitchhiker by Herschel Cozine (selected as the Cover Story)
Knight Vision by John M. Floyd
Fishing For An Alibi by Earl Staggs (Editor's Choice)

Friday, September 29, 2017

SMFS Member Publication News: Diana Deverell

My mystery "Blown: A Dawna Shepherd Short Story" was reprinted this month in FICTION RIVER PRESENTS: Writers Without Borders.

"Blown" is also included in the BIG BUNDLE OF SHORTS . . . STORIES available from Bundle Rabbit.

The story originally appeared in the Kobo Special Edition of Pulse Pounders, the January 2015 issue of FICTION RIVER themed anthology magazine.

Very pleased by these reappearances!

Catherine Dilts Reviews: Blasts from the Past

Catherine Dilts Reviews: Blasts from the Past

SMFS Member Publication News: "The Greatest Escape:Halloween Short Story" by Gail Farrelly

Houdini (he died on Halloween in 1926) has always fascinated me, so I thought it would be fun to write a short story about him.  What if he came back from the dead and ended up in modern-day NYC? Result? My publication at Kings River Life Magazine, "The Greatest Escape:  Halloween Short Story."

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Saturday, September 23, 2017

SMFS Member Publication News: Fatal Flaw by Cathi Stoler

My story "Fatal Flaw" featuring Nick Donahue is up today at Kings River Life Magazine. It's a tale of an International gambler who helps a beautiful woman in distress and pays the price.

The story is start of my NICK OF TIME novella, which continues Nick's escapades.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Little Big Crimes Review: Cabin Fever by David Edgerley Gates

Little Big Crimes: Cabin Fever, by David Edgerley Gates: "Cabin Fever," by David Edgerley Gates, in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine,  September/October 2017. This is the fifth...

SMFS Lunch at Bouchercon - Oct 13th

 As announced on the list on September 9th, SMFS member Madeleine Callway has organized a lunch for SMFS members attending Bouchercon in Toronto next month. Below is her message to the list. I have taken the liberty of removing her email address so as to not spread her contact details around the internet. If you are a list member, please access the list and see the message from her so that you can contact her and let her know you are coming.    

Greetings from Canada!

The venue for the SMFS lunch at this year's Bouchercon in Toronto is now set. We will be meeting at Shopsy's Deli, Friday, October 13th, at 12 noon. (Appropriate!)

Shopsy's is located in the Sheraton Hotel where the conference is taking place so travel won't be an issue. Mike, the manager, is delighted to have us and we will have an area in the restaurant reserved for us.

Shopsy's has typical deli food and prices are reasonable. it's a Toronto classic.

Welcome to Toronto!

Madeleine (M. H. Callway)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Friday, September 8, 2017

SMFS Members Published in Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4

Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4 is a new anthology from the New York/Tri-State Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Published by Level Best Books,  the anthology was edited by SMFS member Elizabeth Zelvin who also has a short story in the book titled, “ Death Will Finish Your Marathon.”

Editor Elizabeth Zelvin reports that the following SMFS members also have short stories in the anthology:

Joseph R.G. DeMarco, Vincenzo's Head”

Nina Mansfield, “An Actor Prepares”

Anita Page, “The Cousins”

Cathi Stoler, “Every Picture Tells A Story”

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

SMFS Members Published in Black Cat Mystery Magazine

Today the first issue of Black Cat Mystery Magazine came out courtesy of Wildside Press. This first issue features short stories from a number of SMFS members including Michael Bracken, John Floyd, Kaye George, Barb Goffman, Alan Orloff, Josh Pacter, and Art Taylor.

Make sure you check out the interview with Editor Carla Coupe that appears today on the Sleuthsayers Blog courtesy of Barb Goffman.

SMFS Members Published in Mysterical-E: Summer 2017

The latest edition of Mysterical-E is now online and features work by three SMFS members. In fiction, Bern Sy Moss has a tale titled The Perfect Patsy and J.R. Lindermuth offers Yoga Kills.

Also in this edition, Gerald So has the latest roundup of news on movies and television in his column, "Mysterical-Eye on TV and Film."

You can read the current issue here. Make sure you check out the back issues as well for more solidly good fiction.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Great Train Robbery: Mystery Short Story by Michael Bracken

The Great Train Robbery: Mystery Short Story by Michael Bracken went up yesterday as part of the August 19th edition of Kings River Life Magazine. Michael has reported to the list that the tale was originally published in Mike Shane Mystery Magazine in June 1985. At that time, it was his fourth publication in the magazine and his seventh published mystery overall.

You can read the tale here.

Judy Penz Sheluk remembers B. K. Stevens

Just shares this interview she did with B. K. back in September 2016.

Catherine Dilts remembers B. K. Stevens

Catherine Dilts shares....

I am saddened to announce the passing earlier this week of a great mystery author, B. K. Stevens. She left us too soon. Rather than posting my usual short story review, please read this author's work and form your own opinion. A Derringer Award winner, her mysteries are of literary quality. She appeared frequently in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. I wrote her a fan letter for her story, The Last Blue Glass. B. K. responded that she saved all her fan letters, to re-read at moments when she was discouraged. You can find the link to The Last Blue Glass here. I have no doubt she will be remembered.

Catherine Dilts
Stone Cold Blooded - A Rock Shop Mystery 
Unrepentant Sinner - AHMM May/June 2017
Derringer Award Finalist: The Chemistry of Heroes - AHMM - May 2016

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Jay Hartman remembers B. K. Stevens

Jay shares....

B. K. was an author who signed on with us very early on in the foundation of Untreed Reads. I remember being so thrilled that she was willing to take the chance on a new publishing house to place her work. We ended up publishing two of her short stories as standalones, and she supported us and both of them as if they were full-length, NYT bestsellers. She had a great wit, was incredibly sweet and genuinely cared about the success of everyone involved in her publications. A true joy to work with.

Jay Hartman
Untreed Reads Publishing

Friday, August 18, 2017

SleuthSayers: Remembering B.K. Stevens

Several SMFS members are currently at work on their remembrance posts for the SMFS blog as B. K. Stevens was also a major presence in our SMFS group. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends in the wake of her sudden passing.

SleuthSayers: Remembering B.K. Stevens: By Art Taylor On Monday, B.K. Stevens —an award-winning mystery writer, a member of the SleuthSayers family here, and a great friend t...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Little Big Crimes Review Publish or Perish by Kevin Z. Garvey

Little Big Crimes: Publish or Perish, by Kevin Z. Garvey: "Publish or Perish," by Kevin Z. Garvey, in Mystery Weekly Magazine, July 2017. Every twist ending is a surprise. Not every s...

SMFS Member News: Diana Deverell

"Shut Your Eyes and You'll be Fine" by Diana Deverell is in Mystery Weekly's August issue

Like the story's protagonist, Diana spent 18 months in war-torn San Salvador. She's tried many times to turn that experience into fiction, but no sale. The MW editor's acceptance of this brand-new effort suggests that 35 years might be enough distance.

Diana tells more to thriller writer Rick Reed in an interview published in the August issue of The Big Thrill the-door-by-diana-deverell/

Monday, July 31, 2017

SMFS Members News— JULY 2017

The members below reported their publishing successes this month: 

Melissa H. Blaine, “The Devil's Standable”  in the anthology, Day of the Dark: Stories of Eclipse, (Editor Kaye George) Wildside Press. (July 2017).

Michael Bracken, “Last Good Day” at Tough (July 24, 2017); “Smoked” in Noir at the Salad Bar: Culinary Tales With A Bite, Level Best Books, (July 2017); “Long-Distance Love” in True Story (July 2017); and “Beach Body” and “Three’s A Crowd” in True Confessions (July 2017). 

Craig Faustus Buck, “Honeymoon Sweet” at Trigger Warning: Short Fiction With Pictures: Issue 10 (July 2017). The author notes that his Macavity Award winning story was illustrated with original artwork by John Skewes. A signed copy of the illustration was provided to the author as that is done with all published by the site.

Larry W. Chavis, “On The Hook: Mystery Short Story” at Kings River Life Magazine (July 22, 2017).

Lauryn Christopher, “Lemonade and Larceny” in Fiction River: Editor's Choice: Volume 23, WMG Publishing (June 30, 2017) and “Backstage Pass” in the Crimes, Capers, and Rule-Breakers bundle (July 2017).

Diana Deverell, “Con Prince of Copenhagen,” in the Crimes, Capers, and Rule-Breakers bundle (July 2017) as well as “Black Powder Boogie: Mystery Short Story” at Kings River Life Magazine (July 15, 2017 and “The Real and Recent Wars Behind My Fiction” in Mystery Readers Journal: Murder In Wartime: Volume 33, Issue No. 2, Summer 2017.

Peter DiChellis, “Darkness, Darkness” in Mystery Weekly (July 2017 Humor Issue) and “Hostile Plans” in Switchblade Magazine: Issue Two (July 2017) as well as “The All-Night Zombie Channel” at The Higgs Weldon comedy site (July 27, 2017).

Patricia Dusenbury, “Cold Turkey” at Flash Bang Mysteries: Summer 2017 Issue (July 2017).

Gail Farrelly, “For Pete’s Sake” at the Yonker’s Tribune, (July 5, 2017). Part Two appeared on July 12, 2017, with Part Three following on July 19, 2017, and the concluding Part Four on July 26, 2017.

John M. Floyd, “Ace in the Hole” at Flash Bang Mysteries: Summer 2017 Issue (July 2017) as well as “The Sandman” in Noir at the Salad Bar: Culinary Tales With A Bite, Level Best Books (July 2017) and “Mr. Unlucky” in the August 7, 2017 issue of  Woman’s World. John also reports he is in the June –Sept issue of The Strand Magazine with his story “Crow Mountain.”

Kaye George, “The Darkest Hour” in the anthology, Day of the Dark: Stories of Eclipse, (Editor Kaye George) Wildside Press. (July 2017).

Debra H. Goldstein, “A Golden Eclipse” in the anthology, Day of the Dark: Stories of Eclipse, (Editor Kaye George) Wildside Press. (July 2017).

John Lindermuth, The Tithing Herd, Sundown Press (July 2017).

Paul D. Marks, “Blood Moon” in the anthology, Day of the Dark: Stories of Eclipse, (Editor Kaye George) Wildside Press. (July 2017).

LD Masterson, “Picture Perfect” in the anthology, Day of the Dark: Stories of Eclipse, (Editor Kaye George) Wildside Press. (July 2017) as well as “Deadly Dinner” in the anthology,  Noir at the Salad Bar: Culinary Tales With A Bite, Level Best Books (July 2017).
Alan Orloff, “Togas and Toquesin the anthology,  Noir at the Salad Bar: Culinary Tales With A Bite, Level Best Books (July 2017).

Mary Reed, writing as Eric Reed, Ruined Stones, Poisoned Pen Press (July 2017).

Jude Roy, “Santa is Dead” at Flash Bang Mysteries: Summer 2017 Issue (July 2017).

Jacqueline Seewald, “Morgan’s Mountain” in Hypnos: Volume 6: Issue 2: Summer 2017 (July 2017).

Judy Penz Sheluk, “The Cycopaths: Mystery Short Story” at Kings River Life Magazine (July 29, 2017).

Jennifer Soosar, Gary Deserves Reward” at Flash Bang Mysteries: Summer 2017 Issue (July 2017).

Cynthia St-Pierre, “The Girl with the Mangled Breast” at Crimson Streets (July 23. 2017). 

Cheri Vause, “Black Monday” in the anthology, Day of the Dark: Stories of Eclipse, (Editor Kaye George) Wildside Press. (July 2017).

Friday, July 7, 2017

Guest Post: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Murder by SMFS Member Peter DiChellis

It has been awhile, but SMFS member Peter DiChellis is back today with some thoughts about humor in mysteries…

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Murder
By Peter DiChellis

I enjoy reading and writing mysteries peppered with humor. Counterintuitive as it might seem, fictional tales of appalling crimes and their life-crushing consequences are often enhanced by hoots and yuks from humor. How can that possibly be? For me at least, there are several reasons.
1. Humor provides breathing space, a touch of comic relief from the so-often dismal themes in mystery and crime stories. To paraphrase an old political saw, these stories ain’t beanbag. Humor can deliver a welcome break in the tension.
2. Humorous passages give camouflage for clues. This is your brain on humor: Giddy and giggly and distracted, but not focused on rational analysis. Could you overlook an important clue during a bout of head-shaking, eyeball-rolling chortling? Count on it.
3. Humor is just flat-out entertaining. Among the many splendid reasons to read a good mystery, or any engrossing fiction, is simply to enjoy an entertaining diversion. Humor amps up the entertainment.
4. Humor creates likeability. In real life, we tend to like and appreciate good-humored people who can make us laugh. Why wouldn’t we feel the same about fictional characters and stories?
5. Injections of humor might help a story stand out in a crowded field. By definition mystery and crime stories, like all genre fiction, typically incorporate common elements that readers have come to expect. Humor is one way to add a distinctive element that helps a story stand apart.
6. Humorous incidents can erect unusual and revealing obstacles for characters to overcome. Fictional detectives already endure wily suspects, unreliable witnesses, contaminated evidence, and other impediments to success. Frustrate them with some funny stuff too and see how they handle it.
7. Mysteries provide lots of creative opportunities for humor. The cast of characters, from detectives to sidekicks to suspects to witnesses, is rich with eccentric possibilities. Strange clues and weird circumstances abound. Settings range from seedy barrooms to stately mansions, from trailer parks to office towers.
Finally, I hope those who enjoy humorous mysteries will take a look at the July issue of Mystery Weekly, an extra-large humor edition. The issue includes my story (“Darkness, Darkness”) about a blind man who witnesses a murder and offers detectives a peculiar assortment of puzzling clues.

Peter DiChellis © 2017
Peter DiChellis concocts sinister and sometimes comedic tales for anthologies, ezines, and magazines. He is a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society and an Active (published author) member of the Mystery Writers of America, Private Eye Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. For more, visit his site Murder and Fries at