Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 78

As posted by Peter DiChellis to our SMFS list…
Wanna have a little more fun? This week’s blog provides plenty, with links to a wicked mix of reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes two dozen free-to-read locked room mysteries, with introductory summaries and reviews.
Plus, in a Halloween essay EQMM editor Janet Hutching reveals her views on supernatural mysteries.
A short walk down a dark street (#78). Celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,

2019 Al Blanchard Award: Joseph S. Walker

A week after winning the Bill Crider Prize for Short Fiction at Bouchercon 2019, SMFS list member Joseph S. Walker won the 2019 Al Blanchard Award presented at New England Crime Bake. The Al Blanchard Award, named after Al Blanchard, honors the best crime short story by a New England writer or with a New England setting. Mr. Walker’s winning short story, “Haven” is published in Seascape: Best New England Crime Stories.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

SMFS Short Story Saturdays: Robert Lopresti

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 Lopresti  shares the 1979 short story, “The Long Treason” he recently posted to SleuthSayers Blog.

If you would like to be included and are a member of the SMFS list at, 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

Friday, November 8, 2019

SMFS Members Published in Seascape: Best New England Crime Stories

Several SMFS members have published stories in the new anthology, Seascape: Best New England Crime Stories. Published by Level Best Books the read is available in both print and digital formats from Amazon. The SMFS members in the anthology are:

Michael Bracken with “Who Done It.”

Peter Hayes with “Pretty Dreams.”

Linda Leszczuk with “Do Not Disturb.”

Adan Meyer with “Mrs. Montgomery.”

Alan Orloff with “Ward’s Cleaver.”

Ang Pompano with “Stringer.”

CJ Verburg with “Peccata Mundy.”

Joseph S. Walker with “Haven.”

Vicki Weisfeld with “The Ghost Who Read the Newspaper.”

Amazon Synopsis:

SEASCAPE, the Seventeenth Best New England Crime Stories Anthology, once again brings together the best short crime fiction stories about New England. We feature stories from well-published writers to brand new voices in the genre, with stories as varied and unique as the region they represent. Included in this collection is the Al Blanchard Award Winning Story. Stories by: Michael Bracken, Tina deBellegarde, Marjorie Drake, Ang Pompano, Lynn Sheft, Vicki Weisfeld, Tiger Wiseman, Adele Gardner, Jim Wright, Christine Bagley, Rachel Brown, Cynthia Drew, Victoria Gosseling, Peter W. J. Hayes, Linda, Leszczuk, Adam Meyer, Rory O'Brien, Alan Orloff, Verena Rose, Janet Raye Stevens, Cynthia Sabelhaus, Gabriel Valjan, CJ Verberg, Harriette Sackler, William Ade, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Katie Tietjen, Woody Hanstein, Lorraine Sharma Nelson, Brenda Seabrooke, and Joseph Walker.

SMFS Members Published in Mystery Weekly Magazine: November 2019

Two SMFS list members are published in the Mystery Weekly Magazine: November 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:

Peter DiChellis with “Disappearing Diamonds” as “A You-Solve-It Mystery.”

Robert Mangeot with “Murder  On The First Night’s Feast.”


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 story “Giving Up The Ghost” by Shea E. Butler, Belle Lopez, an ex-hooker working as a neophyte private investigator, is obsessed with solving the murder of her ex-boss and mentor, Leo Gillepski. Things get complicated when Leo's ghost appears and starts interfering in the case.
“Cold Feet” by Nils Gilbertson: When a prominent scholar weds a powerful lobbyist, suspicion prompts her to enlist her brother, a former fed, to investigate. As he chases leads around D.C., truth, suspicion, and its consequences begin to blur.
In “Midnight In A Sea Of Marble” by D.V. Bennett, Washington D.C. police detectives Mike Ryan and Hayley Michaels are tasked with investigating a double-murder. When they begin to suspect two rich upstanding citizens living in a pricey neighborhood along the Potomac River, the citizens push back.
In “Digging Up Bones” by Brandon Abbott, Nathan Shields is haunted by the skeleton in his past. But he soon learns the real threat lies beneath the surface, where he least expects it. As he uncovers the truth, Nathan discovers a frightening reality: sometimes what you bury will bury you.
“Murder On The First Night’s Feast” by Robert Mangeot: Since Charlemagne, a gathering of elite gourmands in French chateaux country has taken on rules and a reputation all its own. Except this year the host is hauled off for murder, and it’s up to Madame Feubert to save the season.
In “To Whom It May Concern” by Kathleen Gerard, the power of the written word snowballs into unexpected rewards.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

SMFS Member Podcast: Frank Zafiro interviews Terry Shames

SMFS member Frank Zafiro has a long running podcast titled “Wrong Place, Write Crime.” One of the things he does on that is interview folks. This week he interviews SMFS member Terry Shames. This episode runs slightly more than 18 minutes and can be heard here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

SMFS Member Publication News: BV Lawson

SMFS list member BV Lawson reports that in addition to the previously reported “The Barbecue Pot” in Flash Bang Mystery: Fall 2019 issue, her story, “Moby Dick” appeared last August at Akashic Books’ Mondays Are Murder.

BV Lawson also reports that her book, The Suicide Sonata: A Scott Drayco Mystery was published last month by Crimetime Press. This is the fifth book in her Scott Drayco Mystery Series and is available in print from the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors.


Can a piece of music be cursed?

When a young marine biologist is found dead of suicide, his father can't believe he took his own life and hires Scott Drayco to prove it was murder. But what of the strange song found with the young man's body—the same song linked to a piano sonata that led to a wave of suicides in 1930s Hungary?

As Drayco digs deeper, he finds even more unusual aspects of the case not easily explained: the victim’s missing cellphone; his “Gang of Five” friends and their interest in the Akashic Records spiritual philosophy; and the gun used by the victim that was mysteriously stolen from a friend’s car.

Drayco fears a tragic incident from his own past may be clouding his objectivity. After all, the facts point to suicide, case closed. But when Drayco starts suffering from depression himself after playing the sonata, can he really be sure of what’s real and what’s imagined?

The Suicide Sonata is the fifth installment in the acclaimed Scott Drayco mystery series, a finalist for the Shamus, Silver Falchion, Daphne, and Kindle Book Awards.

SleuthSayers: How to Kill Your Story by Robert Lopresti

SleuthSayers: How to Kill Your Story: I have been reading a novel by an author I much admire and have run into a roadblock.  About a third of the way through the main characte...

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

SMFS Member Publishing News: Rusty Barnes

SMFS list member Rusty Barnes’s new book, Kraj the Enforcer: Stories is now out. Published by Shotgun Honey, the read is available in print and digital formats from the publisher as well as Amazon and other vendors.

Amazon Synopsis:

Meet Kraj—pronounced krai—a low-level errand boy and hitman masquerading as a bouncer for Tricky Ricky Gutierrez, nefarious owner of the Twist, a club in upstate Elmira NY. A place that has both a LGBTQIA night and a cowboy country night, this cockeyed corner bar in northern Appalachia supports Ricky’s illegal schemes, and serves as a rural balm for Croatian-war refugee Kraj.

Kraj plies his trade over a short span, moving from petty theft to strong-arming tips from people at the door, breaking up redneck fights, protecting the club’s nubile female staff and collecting gambling debts owed Tricky Ricky. Kraj eventually gets sucked further and further into Ricky’s underworld plans, where he wants to be seen as a man on the come-up, but he has problems moving up in Ricky's organization will never solve. His sister Ana, missing since the Croatian War for Independence, never strays far from his mind.

Kraj, together with his sometime girlfriend Cami, newly become manager of a franchisee McDonald’s, and his manager Mikael. negotiates his way through underground fight clubs, prostitution rings, drug deals, petty thievery, and of course, murder. Tricky Ricky gives Kraj a great deal of rope and autonomy to operate.

Will he hang himself with it or swing?

SMFS Member Publishing News: Michael Bracken

SMFS list member Michael Bracken’s short story, “The Town Where Money Grew on Trees” appeared today at Tough. You can read it for free online here.

SMFS Member Podcast: Earl Staggs

SMFS list member Earl Staggs’ short story, “Fig Newtons and Heavy Bags” is currently the subject of Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast. Actor Donna Beavers reads the tale.

Podcast Synopsis:

This episode features the mystery short story, Fig Newtons and Heavy Bags by Earl Staggs, read by local actor Donna Beavers. You can learn more about Earl Staggs and his writing on his website 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 it as that helps more people be able to find us! Also, consider subscribing so you never miss an episode. You can find more mystery fun on our websites Kings River Life Magazine and KRL News and Reviews.

Bill Crider Prize for Short Fiction: Joseph S. Walker

Bouchercon 2019 celebrated the legendary work of Texas author Bill Crider with the inaugural Bill Crider Prize for Short Fiction. SMFS list member Joseph S. Walker won the award for his short story, “The Last Man in Lafarge.”

Derringer Award Presentation 2019

During Bouchercon 2019 held at the Hyatt Hotel in Dallas, SMFS President Kevin R. Tipple presented the Derringer Medals to the winners present at the ceremony.

Derringer Award Winners Alan Orloff and Gigi Pandian

Accepting the 2019 Golden Derringer Award on behalf of Doug Allyn was Mr. Brendan Dubois.

Alan Orloff was present to accept his award for Best Short Story (1,001-4000 words) for his tale, “Dying in Dokesville” published in Malice Domestic 13: Mystery Most Geographical released by Wildside Press.

Gigi Pandian accepted her award for Best Novelette (8,001-20,000 words) for her tale, The Cambodian Curse released by Henery Press.

Unfortunately, James Blakey and Leslie Budewitz  were unable to be present to receive their medals at the ceremony.

SMFS President Kevin R. Tipple and Derringer Award Winner Gigi Pandian

Little Big Crimes Review: Thanksgiving Eve by Mark Thielman

Little Big Crimes: Thanksgiving Eve, by Mark Thielman: "Thanksgiving Eve," by Mark Thielman, in  Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine,  November/December 2019. This the fourth appearan...

SMFS Member Publishing News: Harold Emanuel

SMFS list member Harold Emanuel’s new book is Murder in the Sunset Years: Lionel Trevor/Tech Squad Mysteries. Published last month in digital and print formats, the collection of short stories is available at Amazon.


Bodies are piling up in Sun Coast Shores. It’s up to Professor Lionel Trevor and his Community College Tech Squad to solve these murders.

This book is a collection of five murder mysteries, all of which take place in and around a Florida retirement community. Each week the professor leads a workshop of students who are studying forensic technology. In conjunction with local Sheriff Tony Maggio, they must first figure out who killed an actor performing in a local community theater production. In subsequent stories they determine who murdered a man whose body was found by the lake after the community’s Fourth of July celebration, why a trophy wife was found dead in her driveway, and who had it in for a local music teacher and two elderly ladies who enjoyed knitting as their hobby.

The professor and his students dig through the evidence and, using the latest forensic technology, bring five murderers to justice.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 77

As posted by SMFS list member Peter DiChellis to our list…

This week’s blog packs a punch, with links to a medley of deadly reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes free-to-read flash stories by Reed Farrel Coleman, Maggie Estep, Paul D. Marks, and S.J. Rozan.
Plus, Flash Fiction Online editor Suzanne Vincent: How Editors Evaluate Short Story Submissions and Navigating Submission Guidelines.
A short walk down a dark street (#77). Celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,