Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Little Big Crimes Review: Click by Dana Haynes

Little Big Crimes: Click, by Dana Haynes: "Click," by Dana Haynes, in Denim, Diamonds, and Death, edited by Rick Ollerman, Down and Out Books, 2019. Here's a pro t...

SMFS Member Publishing News: Lisa Lieberman

SMFS list member Lisa Lieberman’s latest mystery novel, The Glass Forest, came out today with the digital version set for release on December 24, 2019.  This is the third book in her Cara Walden Series of historical noir mysteries. Published by Passport Press, the read is available at the publisher as well as Amazon and other vendors.


Saigon, 1957: Banished from the set of The Quiet American, actress Cara Walden stumbles onto a communist insurgency-and discovers her brother's young Vietnamese lover right in the thick of it. A bittersweet story of love and betrayal set in the early years of American involvement in the country, Lisa Lieberman's tribute to Graham Greene shows us a Vietnam already simmering with discontent.

The First Two Pages: “No Honor Among Thieves” by Heidi Hunter

The First Two Pages: “No Honor Among Thieves” by Heidi Hunter

SleuthSayers: Pull on Your Galoshes, We’re Headed into the Slush Pile ...

SleuthSayers: Pull on Your Galoshes, We’re Headed into the Slush...: Earlier this year I joined Black Cat Mystery Magazine as co-editor, replacing the irreplaceable Carla Coupe. Unlike Carla, who performed ...

Monday, December 9, 2019

Sunday, December 8, 2019

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 82

As posted by SMFS list member Peter DiChellis:
This week’s blog cheers short mystery and crime fiction with links to a concoction of crime-infested reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes the entire past library of stories from crime ‘zine All Due Respect—58 of ‘em, free to read. (And ADR has now reopened for ‘zine submissions and suggests reading past stories as examples of what they want.)
Plus: How stuff works—Standard police interrogation technique, step-by-step.
A short walk down a dark street (#82). Celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,

SMFS Members Published in Crime Travel

Several SMFS members are published in the anthology, Crime Travel. Edited by SMFS member  Barb Goffman, the read was published today in honor of “Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day.”  The new anthology is available at the publisher, Wildside Press, and other vendors including Amazon. The SMFS members published in the anthology are:
Melissa H. Blaine with “Living on Borrowed Time.

James Blakey with “The Case of the Missing Physicist.”

Michael Bracken with “Love, or Something Like It.”

John Floyd with “Ignition.”

Barb Goffman with “Alex’s Choice.”

Heidi Hunter with “No Honor Among Thieves.”

Adam Meyer with “The Fourteenth Floor.”

Barbara Monajem with “The Last Page.”

Korina Moss with “On The Boardwalk.”

Art Taylor with “Hard Return.”

Cathy Wiley with “And Then There Were Paradoxes.” 


CRIME TRAVEL features time-travel mysteries by a terrific lineup of authors. Included are:

James Blakey
Melissa H. Blaine
Michael Bracken
Anna Castle
Brendan DuBois
David Dean
John M. Floyd
Barb Goffman
Heidi Hunter
Eleanor Cawood Jones
Adam Meyer
Barbara Monajem
Korina Moss
Art Taylor
Cathy Wiley

Saturday, December 7, 2019

SleuthSayers: More Experiments by John M. Floyd

SleuthSayers: More Experiments: In last week's column I talked a bit about experimental writing, and gave as an example one of my recent stories, which was told in ...

SMFS Members Published in Heart’s Kiss: No. 18 December 2019 - January 2020

Two SMFS members are published in the recently released, Heart’s Kiss: No. 18 December 2019 - January 2020. Published by Heart’s Nest Press, the read is currently available from the publisher as well as in digital format at Amazon. Our two SMFS members with short stories in this issue are:

David H. Hendrickson with “The Girl in the Glitter.”

Tonya D. Price with “Christmas Love For Three.”

Both stories by these members are also currently available to read for free at the website along with some of the other content of the issue.

Amazon Synopsis:

A Magazine Celebrating Romance:

Love romance? Love discovering the best new writers with bite-sized stories? Or maybe you prefer to treat yourself by escaping into a sure-to-please favorite author’s world now and again, but don’t have the time to read a full-length novel. Heart’s Kiss magazine offers delicious variety and more.

Each issue has at least 60,000 plus words of fiction from names readers will recognize, to newly discovered writers, including interviews and articles talking about what romance readers love most—the books they love, why romance is important in today’s world, their love of the genre and what to enjoy next.

Heart’s Kiss is filled with a sweet-spicy-erotic mix of historical, contemporary, paranormal, suspense and futuristic romance stories that will be sure to make you yearn for more.

ONE NIGHT IN LONDON (serialization) by Kayla Perrin
THE GIRL IN THE GLITER by D. H. Hendrickson
DEVOTION (serialization) by Gracie Wilson

SMFS Short Story Saturdays: Joan Leotta

Each Saturday, we feature a SMFS list member whose work can be read online for free. These short stories are at least a year old.  

For SMFS Short Story Saturdays today, list member Joan Leotta shares the October 2017  short story, “Fish Out of Water” archived at Lawyerist.

If you would like to be included and are a member of the SMFS list at groups.io, email the link to your story to KevinRTipple at Verizon dot net. If you are not a member, this would be a good time to check us out at https://groups.io/g/shortmystery

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Little Big Crimes Review: Blue Skies by Keith Snyder

Little Big Crimes: Blue Skies, by Keith Snyder: "Blue Skies," by Keith Snyder, in Black Cat Mystery Magazine #5, 2019. Tom Krol put out an ad for some land-moving equipment ...

SMFS Members Published in Mystery Weekly Magazine: December 2019

Several SMFS list members are published in the Mystery Weekly Magazine: December  2019 issue. The read is available from the publisher  and at Amazon in both print and digital formats and other vendors. The SMFS members in this issue are:

Jack Bates with “A Minute To Murder” in “A-You-Solve-It” mystery section.

John Floyd with “Rachel’s Place.”

R. T. Lawton with “The Job Interview.”

Robert Lopresti with “Robot Carson.” 

Vicki Weisfeld with “The West Texas Rookie.”


At the cutting edge of crime fiction, Mystery Weekly Magazine presents original short stories by the world’s best-known and emerging mystery writers.
The stories we feature in our monthly issues span every imaginable subgenre, including cozy, police procedural, noir, whodunit, supernatural, hardboiled, humor, and historical mysteries. Evocative writing and a compelling story are the only certainty.
Get ready to be surprised, challenged, and entertained--whether you enjoy the style of the Golden Age of mystery (e.g., Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle), the glorious pulp digests of the early twentieth century (e.g., Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler), or contemporary masters of mystery.
In this issue:
In our cover feature “Peat” by Frederick Highland we are taken not far from a remote section of Hadrian's Wall, where archaeologists have departed for the season leaving the innkeeper of Wycherly's On The Moor, Hans Seefeldt, anticipating some peaceful downtime. Peaceful, that is, until a local peat cutter arrives bearing unwanted gifts.
“The Job Interview” by R.T. Lawton warns us when you need money, job interviews can be tricky situations.
At “Rachel’s Place” by John M. Floyd, a blind woman becomes the target of bank robbers who believe she can identify them.
“A Really Great Team” by Dennis Palumbo is a story filled with so many crimes—one thing leads to another …
“Robot Carson” by Robert Lopresti is a mystery set in the near future where robots have replaced most cops. Mary discovers that this leads to some new problems—as well as some old ones.
In “The West Texas Rookie” by Vicki Weisfeld a young Texas newspaper reporter has trouble fitting into the old boys' club in the office. When she's given the throwaway assignment of a four-victim murder, she sets out to solve the crime.
In “Exposure” by Stephen Couch homeless shelter volunteers discover the frozen corpse of a city official, but find their amateur sleuthing over his demise may lead them into deadlier waters than they ever imagined.
In “Taking Debbie Rabbit” by Ray Morrison a hitman's latest assignment doesn't quite add up, leading to some deadly surprises.

SMFS Member Publishing News: Gary Phillips

SMFS list member Gary Phillip’s short story, “A Matter of Options” prompted by the Depression-era painting “Why Not Take the L” by Reginald Marsh appears in the new anthology, From Sea to Stormy Sea: 17 Stories Inspired by Great American Paintings. Edited by Lawrence Block, the read is available in print and digital formats. Published by Pegasus Books, the read is viable from the publisher and other vendors including Amazon.


In the third installment of his acclaimed illustrated anthology series, master of crime fiction Lawrence Block has gathered together the best talent from popular fiction to produce an anthology of short stories based on masterpieces of American art.
Seventeen stories by seventeen brilliant writers, inspired by seventeen paintings. That was the formula for Lawrence Block’s two ground-breaking anthologies, In Sunlight or in Shadow and Alive in Shape and Color, and it’s on glorious display here once again in From Sea to Stormy Sea.
This time the paintings are exclusively the work of American artists, and the roster includes Harvey Dunn, John Steuart Curry, Reginald Marsh, Thomas Hart Benton, Helen Frankenthaler, Winslow Homer, Rockwell Kent, Grant Wood, and Andy Warhol. Among the star-studded lineup of writers you’ll find Warren Moore, Jerome Charyn, Jane Hamilton, Christa Faust, John Sandford, Sara Paretsky, Charles Ardai, Barry Malzberg, and Janice Eidus. 
It’s an outstanding collection, with widely divergent stories united by theme and culture, and―no surprise―beautifully illustrated with full-color reproductions of the seventeen paintings.
Including stories by: Sara Paretsky, Jan Burke, Warren Moore, Patricia Abbott, Christa Faust, Jerome Charyn, Barry Malzberg, Scott Frank, Brendan DuBois, Tom Franklin, Gary Phillips, Charles Ardai, Micah Nathan, Janice Eidus, John Sandford, Jane Hamilton, and Lawrence Block. 
Illustrated with 17 color plates, one for each story.

SMFS Member Publishing News: Richie Narvaez

SMFS list member Richie Narvaez’s short story, “Blackout,” appears in the just released Mystery Tribune Issue No. 11: Fall 2019. Currently available from the publisher in print format.

Issue NÂș11: Fall 2019 features
·         A curated collection of short fiction including stories by Brendan DuBois, SJ Rozan, Ewa Mazierska, Nick Kolakowski, Richie Narvaez, Todd Robinson, Chris McGinley, and William R. Soldan.
·         Interviews and Reviews by Daniel Kraus, Scott Adlerberg, Tobias Carroll, Kristen Lepionka, and Charles Perry.
·         Art and Photography by Jessica Almeida, Sergey Nehaev, and more.
This issue also features a preview of the new graphic novel Rivers of London Volume 7: Action at a Distance by Ben Aaronovitch (Author), Andrew Cartmel (Author), and Brian Williamson (Illustrator).
NY Times Bestselling author Reed Farrel Coleman has called Mystery Tribune “a cut above” and mystery grand masters Lawrence Block and Max Allan Collins have praised it for its “solid fiction” and “the most elegant design”.
An elegantly crafted quarterly issue, printed on uncoated paper and with a beautiful layout designed for optimal reading experience, our Fall 2019 issue will make a perfect companion or gift for avid mystery readers and fans of literary crime fiction.
Your issue will typically arrive within 2-3 weeks after availability.

SMFS Member Podcast: Donna Andrews

SMFS list member Donna Andrews’ short story, “A Christmas Trifle” is currently the subject of Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast. Actor Ariel Linn reads the tale.

Podcast Synopsis:

This episode features the mystery short story A Christmas Trifle, a Meg Langslow story by Donna Andrews. It is read by local actor Ariel Linn. A Christmas Trifle was originally published in Homicidal Holidays: Fourteen Tales of Murder and Merriment by Wildside Press in June of 2014. You can learn more about Donna on her website, and her latest Meg Langslow Christmas Mystery novel, Owl Be Home For Christmas, is available for purchase. In each episode we share with you mystery short stories and mystery novel first chapters read by actors from the San Joaquin Valley. If you enjoyed this episode please review or rate the episode as that helps more people be able to find us! Ariel Linn has read several stories for us and all are available here and on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and others.

The First Two Pages: “Living on Borrowed Time” by Melissa H. Blaine

The First Two Pages: “Living on Borrowed Time” by Melissa H. Blaine

SleuthSayers: No Flux Capacitors Here by Barb Goffman

SleuthSayers: No Flux Capacitors Here: When I sent out my call for stories for Crime Travel , the crime/time-travel anthology I edited--coming out this Sunday from Wildsid...

Sunday, December 1, 2019

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 81

As posted by Peter DiChellis to our SMFS list earlier this afternoon…
This week’s blog brings it, with links to a trouble-making troupe of reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes: Twenty free stories and novella excerpts, courtesy of The Strand Magazine.
Plus: The inside story on the current status of Occult Detective Quarterly (now Occult Detective Magazine).
A short walk down a dark street (#81). Celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,

Saturday, November 30, 2019

SMFS Member Publishing News: Jan Christensen

SMFS list member Jan Christensen’s latest mystery, Haunting Dreams: Paula Mitchell, P. I., is now out. The book is the fourth book in her Paula Mitchell, P. I. series. It is available at Amazon in both print and digital formats.


Private Eye Paula Mitchell’s latest case is so bizarre, she’s not sure it will ever be solved.
Why would anyone shoot a chef in the leg? Was his cooking that bad? Rhode Island PI, Paula Mitchell, is hired to find out, but before she starts, another cook is shot in the opposite leg. The plot is now as thick as New England clam chowder.

Paula’s list of suspects climbs as she interviews witnesses and other folks who are connected to the cooks. Is an old crime becoming hot again? Are the victims and the other case connected? It all takes an ugly turn when Paula herself is threatened. As the stakes get higher and higher, Paula races to find out the secrets that will solve everything.

SleuthSayers: A Story in Reverse by John M. Floyd

SleuthSayers: A Story in Reverse: I have always admired writers who are willing to take risks and try new techniques and venture out of their comfort zones. That's hard...

SMFS Short Story Saturdays: Robert Mangeot

Each Saturday, we feature a SMFS list member whose work can be read online for free. These short stories are at least a year old.  

For SMFS Short Story Saturdays today, list member Robert Mangeot shares the April 2015  short story, “First Rodeo: Mystery Short Story” archived at Kings River Life Magazine.

If you would like to be included and are a member of the SMFS list at groups.io, email the link to your story to KevinRTipple at Verizon dot net. If you are not a member, this would be a good time to check us out at https://groups.io/g/shortmystery

Friday, November 29, 2019

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

SMFS Member Publication News: Cathi Stoler

SMFS list member Cathi Stoler’s new book, OUT OF TIME: A Nick Donahue Adventure, has been released by Black Opal Books. Published in digital format only, the read is available at Amazon.

A Nick Donahue Adventure

It was supposed to be a simple and quick assignment for Marina DiPietro and Nick Donahue. Help Marina’s client, Adnan bin Haddad, protect his fabulous racehorse, Devil Wind, from human predators who threaten the stallion with death if millions aren’t paid in “protection money.” Just guard the horse and catch the predators before they strike. If you’re lucky.

Turns out, the threat against the horse is just the opening move to get into bin Haddad’s science lab and steal his latest invention. Now Nick must stop the perpetrators, ISIS, from getting their hands on the ultimate weapon of war—a tool of unimaginable terror, a cloaking device, that could tear the world apart.

Then events spiral out of control. The daughter of bin Haddad’s closest friend and employee, is kidnapped, Marina is kidnapped, and Nick becomes enmeshed in a web of betrayal and deceit. ISIS is determined to have the cloaking device, and Nick has to use all the cunning, skill, and subterfuge he’s acquired as a gambler to discover the “tell” that will help him turn the predators into prey.

And, there’s no time to lose.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Little Big Crimes Review: Sad Onions by Joe R. Lansdale

Little Big Crimes: Sad Onions, by Joe R. Lansdale: "Sad Onions," by Joe R. Lansdale, in Odd Partners, edited by Anne Perry, Random House, 2019. This is the second time Lansda...

Criminal Minds: Guess I'm Lucky That Way by Frank Zafiro

Criminal Minds: Guess I'm Lucky That Way: Does your writing ever interfere with your family life? Do the demands of your fiction ever create friction with those closest to you? ...

SMFS Member Publishing News: Mary Stojak

SMFS list member Mary Stojak’s short story, “The Door” appears online at The Raven Review as part of the November 2019 Special Issue. The entire issue can be found here and Mary Stojak’s story can be found here.

SleuthSayers: P.I. Nocturne by Paul D. Marks

SleuthSayers: P.I. Nocturne: by Paul D. Marks Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa In a couple of recent SleuthSayers posts O’Neil and Leigh talked about pre-rock music. I...

Sunday, November 24, 2019

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 80

As posted by Peter DiChellis to our SMFS list…

Need a quick buzz? This week’s blog brings it on, with links to a dangerous dose of reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes: free-to-read, the classic crime story "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl (which later became an Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV episode).
Plus: A short walk encore presentation—two Michael Bracken essays on selling stories.
A short walk down a dark street (#80). Celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,

SMFS Members Published in Dark Yonder: Tales & Tabs

Several SMFS list members are published in the anthology, Dark Yonder: Tales & Tabs. Published by Joyride Press, the anthology edited by SMFS list member Liam Sweeny is available in both print and digital formats from Amazon and other vendors. The SMFS list members published in the anthology are:

Bruce Robert Coffin with “Old Fashioned.”

Terri Lynn Coop with “Yonder Off-Label.”

Nick Kolakowski with “Huey and the Burrito of Doom.”

David Nemeth with “Retribution.”

Rob Pierce with “Not Enough To Drink.”

Travis Richardson with “Them’s Fighting Words.”

Liam Sweeny with “Legs Diamond.”

Gabrial Valjan with “Popcorn.”

Frank Zafiro with “Run Its Course.”

Picture Supplied by Gariel Valjan


Twenty of the country's top crime writers walk into a bar... Yonder: Southern Cocktails & Brew, specifically. They each leave a tale spun in a way that only they can. Over twenty endearing stories of degenerates, criminals and regulars just itching for something to happen.

SMFS Members Published in Down & Out: The Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 1

SMFS list members are published in Down & Out: The Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 1, published earlier this month by Down & Out Books. The read is available in digital and print formats at Amazon. The SMFS list members with short stories in this issue are:

Richard Prosch  with “Capitol Offense.”

Sylvia Maultash Warsh with “The Veiled Heart.”


In this issue, pioneering TV writer and producer April Kelly opens with a wicked story that may remind you to pay attention to what you eat.
Brendan DuBois appears with the story of an assassination and its aftermath—from the killer’s point of view.
Ray Daniel & Kellye Garrett team up with a story that brings together characters from their own series.
Our feature is by Walter Satterthwait, who comes at us with his first new story in a while. The lead character, Fallon, helps—in his own way—solve a murder at a monastery.
Edgar Award-winning author Sylvia Maultash Warsh brings us a piece about deception in the world of art, and we welcome Benjamin Boulden back with his second story for us.
Robb T. White returns following his Best Mystery Stories of 2019 entry in our pages, and Dane F. Baylis, Richard Prosch and Richard Risemberg debut in our magazine with some of the most entertaining crime fiction you’ll find.

SMFS Member Publishing News: Michael Bracken

SMFS list member Michael Bracken shares the publishing news that subscribers to the Guns + Tacos series received today the sixth and final installment of the series along with his bonus short story, “Plantanos con Lechera and a Snub-Nosed .38.” You can find out more at the Down & Out Books website.

SMFS Members Published in Black Cat Mystery Magazine #5

Several SMFS list members are published in Black Cat Mystery Magazine #5. Published by Wildside Press, the read is available in print and digital formats at Amazon as well as at the publisher.   This issue also marks the first one with SMFS list member Michael Bracken’s involvement as co-editor. The SMFS list members published in this issue are:

Michael Bracken with “The Show Must Go On.”
Dara Carr with “Emily and Elodie.”
Tracy Falenwolfe with “Partners in Crime.”
John M. Floyd with “Rhonda and Cylde.”
Elizabeth Zelvin with “A Unicorn In The Harem.”


Black Cat Mystery Magazine is a new journal devoted to the best in mystery short fiction. Crime? Noir? Cozy? Private eye? You'll find all genres present and accounted for--with new tales by the best writers of today! The fifth issue features the following lineup:

THE SHOW MUST GO ON, by Michael Bracken


PARTNERS IN CRIME, by Tracy Falenwolfe

RHONDA AND CLYDE, by John M. Floyd

THE IDEA, by Charlie Hughes

THE BODYGUARD, by Janice Law

TRIGGER WARNING, by Dennis Palumbo

BLUE SKIES, by Keith Snyder

A UNICORN IN THE HAREM, by Elizabeth Zelvin

DON'T DO THAT, by Gil Brewer

Saturday, November 23, 2019

SMFS Member Publishing News: Jack Bates

SMFS list member Jack Bates’ short story, “In the Megalodon” appears in the new anthology, Death in the Age of Steam. Published by Elm Books, the anthology is available in print from Amazon as well as in digital format and from the publisher.

Print Synopsis:

Steampunk writing combines imaginative technological tinkering with a 19th century aesthetic. Cheaply done, that means slap some gears on it, call your protagonist 'Lord Crankshaft' or 'Lady Windlass, ' and get it out the door.
But we at Elm Books wanted to dig deeper.
The 19th century was a time of exciting scientific developments: steam power, electricity, refrigeration, and so much more that we take for granted today, but that seemed like witchcraft at the time. But it was also a time of great social inequality and ruthless colonial expansion. It was not the best time, for example, to be female, or poor. And it was a terrible time to be an original inhabitant of a colonized land. And the steampunk genre, like every genre, could do better in representing these stories.
This anthology brings you some of the stories that go beyond the traditional tropes.
Within these pages, you will find lady sharpshooters and dominatrix detectives. You'll encounter vampire forensics, sleuthing Rabbis, and ancient East Asian vendettas exploding onto the streets of East London. And in one spectacular story, one man uncovers a corporate conspiracy to steal the very power of the sun. Perhaps we should have called this anthology Death in the Age of Steam and Sun.

Digital Synopsis:

If you thought steampunk was just glued-on gears and fake British accents, you will never be so happy to be proven wrong. In these pages, we’re bringing you the untold stories of steampunk, the Weird West, and beyond. You’ll find clockwork governesses with subversive attitudes, dominatrix detectives and vampire sleuths. You’ll encounter heroic Rabbis, dentists who take a bite out of crime, a ruthless corporations out to steal the sun — and the one man standing in its way. But most of all, you’ll find a fist full of stories and unique, exciting heroes waiting to tell them. Welcome.
A lady sharpshooter solves an impossible murder in the Old, Weird West, in A Frame Most Fearful by Emily Baird
In The Megalodon by Jack Bates, unlikely heroes foil the attempted sabotage of a magnificent new submersible.
In far-off Jerusalem, a determined Rabbi uses logic and Kabbalah to solve a spate of mysterious murders in Beneath the Holy City by Edward Stasheff
Mrs. MacAdams’s Establishments by Yvette Franklin has a women respectable by day and dominating by night who investigates a murder with the help of a Lovelace analytical engine.
Political intrigue, romantic misunderstandings, and…vampires? In Blood in Peking by JL Boekstein
In Honor, Love and Photographs by Christalea McMullin, ancient East Asian rivalries spring to life on the streets of East London.
And in Borderman H49 by Darren Todd, a peacekeeper uncovers a twisted plot to cause havoc between competing solar farms and steal the power of the sun.
So sit back, strap on your goggles, and get ready for adventure!
Jess Faraday is an award-winning author and editor of historical and steampunk fiction. She lives in Scotland. You can check out more her work at http://www.jessfaraday.com