Sunday, April 29, 2018

SMFS Member Publication News: Deborah Lacy

SMFS Member Deborah Lacy’s short story “Taking Care” appears in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine: May/June 2018. Available at their website as well as at Amazon and elsewhere.

Little Big Crimes Review: The Canary Islands Crime Boss by Glenda Young

Little Big Crimes: The Canary Islands Crime Boss, by Glenda Young: "The Canary Islands Crime Boss," by Glenda Young, in Noirville, Fahrenheit Press, 2018. Poor Jimmy.  An accountant isn't su...

SMFS Member Gigi Pandian WINS an Agatha!

SMFS member Gigi Pandian, nominated in Best Short Story category for the Agatha Award this year for “The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn” (Henery Press) won last night at Malice Domestic.  The picture on this post was supplied by SMFS member Art Taylor on Facebook.

Established in 1989, Malice Domestic™ is an annual fan convention in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area that celebrates the traditional mystery, best typified by the works of Agatha Christie, containing no explicit sex, excessive gore, or violence.

Congratulations GIGI!!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

SMFS Member Publication News: O'Neil De Noux

SMFS Member O'Neil De Noux has a historical mystery short story in the new issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine: Issue 2. “The Gorilla Murders” was first published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine: July/August 2004 (Volume 49, Nos. 7 and 8) and is set in 1889 New Orleans. Detective Jacques Dugas (also seen in The French Detective published in 2014 by Big Kiss Productions) investigates a series of murders in the French Quarter where witnesses describe a gorilla as the killer.

SMFS Member Publication News: Carlos Orsi

SMFS member Carlos Orsi reports that his story, “The Glass Floor” appears in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine: May/June 2018. His tale is a locked room murder mystery with illegal gambling and South American politics added to the mix.

SMFS Members Nominated for the Arthur Ellis Awards

The 2018 Arthur Ellis Awards nominees for the best in Canadian Crime Writing have been announced by the Crime Writers of Canada. There are eight categories. This year three SMFS members are finalists in two categories. They are:

Best Novella Category:

M. H. Callway for “Snake Oil” published in 13 Claws: An Anthology of Crime Stories (Carrick Publishing).

Vicki Delany for Blood And Belonging: A Ray Robertson Mystery (Orca Book Publishers).

Best Crime Short Story:

Sylvia M. Warsh for “The Ranchero's Daughter” published in 13 Claws: An Anthology of Crime Stories (Carrick Publishing).

Winners will be announced at the Arts & Letters club in Toronto on Thursday, May 24, 2018. More information on the Arthur Ellis awards can be found at their website.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Gerald So Interviews 2018 Derringer Finalist Alison McMahan

Gerald So Interviews 2018 Derringer Finalist Alison McMahan

Gerald So Interviews 2018 Derringer Finalist Rusty Barnes

Gerald So Interviews 2018 Derringer Finalist Rusty Barnes

2018 Derringer Awards Voting April 16–May 15

Due to the late announcement of the 2018 Derringer finalists, Awards Coordinator Jay Hartman has made the following modifications for this year's vote to determine the winners:

A) Allow all present SMFS members to vote
B) Suspend new Shortmystery memberships until the vote is over
C) Extend the voting period from April 15 to May 15
D) Conduct the voting through polls within the main SMFS site
E) Make the winners announcement as soon a possible after the polls close

The finalist stories have been uploaded for reading here.

All Shortmystery members as of April 16, 1:15 p.m. EDT may vote here.

The polls will close automatically or manually by Noon EDT May 15 so the official winners announcement can appear here on the SMFS Blog and be shared with the public from that afternoon onward.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

2018 Derringer Award Finalists

As judged by Shortmystery member volunteer panels and announced on Shortmystery by Derringer Awards Coordinator Jay Hartman:

For Best Flash (Up to 1,000 words)
  • "Cold Turkey" by Patricia Dusenbury, Flash Bang Mysteries ed. Brandon Bourg (Summer 2017)
  • "Happy Birthday" by Alan Orloff, Shotgun Honey ed. Jen Conley, Angel Luis Colón, and Nick Kolakowski (June 15, 2017)
  • "Final Testimony" by Travis Richardson, Flash Fiction Offensive ed, Hector Duarte Jr. and Rob Pierce (July 10, 2017)
  • "Fishing for an Alibi" by Earl Staggs, Flash Bang Mysteries ed. Brandon Bourg (Fall 2017)
  • "Flash Point" by Elizabeth Zelvin, A Twist of Noir ed. Christopher Grant (March 20, 2017)

For Best Short Story (1,001-4,000 words)

For Best Long Story (4,001-8,000 words)

For Best Novelette (8,001-20,000 words)

Congratulations and good luck to the 2018 Derringer Award finalists.

An April 16–May 15 vote of all present Shortmystery members will determine the winners, and the official winners announcement will be published here on the SMFS Blog.

Little Big Crimes Review: Kindness by Tom Hallman, Jr.

Little Big Crimes: Kindness, by Tom Hallman, Jr.: "Kindness," by Tom Hallman, Jr., in Mystery Weekly Magazine, April 2018. I like surprises.  Not in real life, I hasten to add...

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

SMFS Member Publication News: M. H. Callway

SMFS Member M. H. Callway’s short story, “The Cry” appears in Mystery Weekly Magazine: April 2018. The magazine is available from the publisher, at Amazon, and elsewhere.

SleuthSayers: Options and Preferences

SleuthSayers: Options and Preferences: by John M. Floyd Some quick background, here: Two weeks ago today, my wife and I drove down to Gulfport, Mississippi, where I'd bee...

SMFS Member Guest Post: Writing Short and Long by Edith Maxwell

Please welcome SMFS member Edith Maxwell to our blog today as she discusses writing in both short and long form. 

Writing Short and Long by Edith Maxwell

I am primarily a book author. I have three series under contract, so I write three books every year. But I also love writing short stories.

Sometimes it’s fun to branch out and write a short story about a new place, with new characters. I did that for my submission to Mystery Most Geographical, this year’s Malice Domestic anthology. I lived in West Africa for two separate years, and the second time (already twenty years ago) I wrote a book of essays about my experiences. I figured no one else would be submitting a story set in rural Burkina Faso to the Malice anthology, so I dusted off one of my essays and turned it into a piece of crime fiction. I’m delighted to say “A Divination of Death” was accepted and the anthology will be out in April.

Most commonly over the last few years I’ve written shorts using the late 1880s characters and setting of my historical series, the Quaker Midwife Mysteries. I can get my midwife Rose Carroll and her sidekick, postmistress Bertie Winslow, into all kinds of new trouble when it’s short form. One crime, one solution, bam. In one of my stories, “Adam and Eva,” (Kings River Life Magazine, 2016) I tell the tale through Bertie’s voice and not Rose’s, although they work together to solve the mystery.

Writing a 300-page book is so much harder in a way than creating a short story. I invariably trudge through the muddle in the middle, even now as I write my 19th novel. I have to keep my arms around everything I’ve written up to that point and still keep the story moving forward until we get to the exciting climax. By now I know I can do it, so I no longer lose hope (well, I do just a little). And I’ve more than once had to kill off a new victim so I can keep the suspense up. I guess I’m doing something right – for two years in a row one of my Quaker Midwife mysteries has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel, with Called to Justice nominated this year. Delivering the Truth was also nominated in the historical category for a Macavity Award last year.

On the other hand, writing a great short story, with nothing superfluous and a twist at the end? That’s a challenge, too. I’ve had several stories nominated for an Agatha Award, “The Mayor and the Midwife” being the most recent, and yes, it features midwife Rose Carroll. But I’ve never won the award, so clearly I have more work to do. Until then, I’m happy to lose to my talented fellow Short Mystery Fiction Society friends.

Edith Maxwell ©2018

Agatha- and Macavity-nominated author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Local Foods Mysteries, and award-winning short crime fiction. Called to Justice, Maxwell’s second Quaker Midwife mystery, is nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel. As Maddie Day she writes the popular Country Store Mysteries and the new Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. As Tace Baker she wrote two books in the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries. 

Maxwell is president of Sisters in Crime New England and lives north of Boston with her beau, two elderly cats, and an impressive array of garden statuary. She blogs at,, and Under the Cover of Midnight ( Read about all her personalities and her work at