Sunday, September 20, 2020

Little Big Crimes Review: The Cough by Lynn Chandler Willis

Little Big Crimes: The Cough, by Lynn Chandler Willis:   "The Cough," by Lynn Chandler Willis, in Writers Crushing COVID-19, edited by Lawrence Kelter, LightSpeed Books, 2020. There&#3...

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 122

As posted by Peter DiChellis to our SMFS list


This week’s blog commends short mystery & crime fiction with links to a sinister selection of reviews, releases, free reads, and more.

Includes, free-to-read: A Treasury of Sayers Stories comprises a dozen stories by Dorothy L. Sayers.

Also—Tricks of the trade: A three-step, three-minute brainstorming technique to fix a scene that isn’t working.

Plus, a review of the Michael Connelly collection Mulholland Dive: Three Stories.

And more.

A short walk down a dark street (#122). Celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.

Best wishes,


SMFS Members Published in Mystery Readers Journal: Senior Sleuths, Volume 36, No. 3, Fall 2020

Several SMFS members are published in the recently released Mystery Readers Journal: Senior Sleuths, Volume 36, No. 3, Fall 2020. The read is available in both hardcopy or a PDF at the website. The members in this issue are:


Jim Doherty with “Just the Facts: A Cop for Three Quarters of a Century!”


Ron Katz with “Where Age is an Edge.”


Ellen Kirschman and Terry Shames cowrote “Senior Sleuths and Older Writers: A Conversation.”


Ang Pompano with “Senior Sleuths: Not Dead Yet!”


Rabbi Ilene Schneider with “Why My Protagonist Is a ‘Woman of a Certain Age.’”


CJ Verburg with “Edward Gorey, Detective.” 






§  I Want to Be Mrs. Pollifax When I Grow Up by Patricia Cook

§  Marlowe’s Last Bow by Jonathan Woods

§  Supreme Senior Sleuths by Robert J. Stern



§  Difficult Endings by John Harvey

§  Yooper Sleuthing in the Golden Years by Deb Baker

§  Senior Sleuths Can Be Geezers or Geezerettes by Mike Befeler

§  The Silvering Sleuth by Baron R. Birtcher

§  Cat Caliban and M.J. Smith by D. B. Borton

§  My Senior Sleuth by Garry Disher

§  Observations Lead to Older Detective Duo by Carl Brookins

§  Sixty is the New Forty by Robert Dugoni

§  Write the Age You Know by Kaitlyn Dunnett

§  How Quickly Does Your Detective Age? by Martin Edwards

§  Subjected to History’s Judgment by Daniel Friedman

§  A Conversion with Bronson by L.C. Hayden

§  Detectives of a Certain Age by Richard Helms

§  A Different Kind of Sleuth by Russell Hill

§  Confronting Golden Ageism by Helen Jacey

§  From the Golden Girls to Jessica Fletcher: The Road to Poppy Harmon by Lee Hollis

§  Where Age Is an Edge by Ron Katz

§  Senior Sleuths and Older Writers: A Conversation by Ellen Kirschman and Terry Shames

§  Rancho de Taos by Gay Toltl Kinman

§  White-Haired Love by Chris Knopf

§  Who You Calling Senior? by Vicki Lane

§  Why I Wrote the Gladdy Books by Rita Lakin

§  “See You Later” But Not “Goodbye” by Gayle Leeson

§  The World’s Oldest Working Cop by Peter Lovesey

§  My Senior Sleuths Are Still on the Case by Ed Lynskey

§  Sleuths of a Certain Age by Annette Mahon

§  Old Age Can Be Deadly, Unless You Are the Fog Ladies by Susan McCormick

§  A Senior Author Tries Sleuthing by Rosemary Mild

§  Molly and the Inspector by Larry Mild

§  Sneaking Into the Life of My Protagonist by Radine Trees Nehring

§  Better than a Homicide Detective by Richard Osman

§  Considering Writing a Senior-Themed Cozy Mystery? I Did. Here’s What I Learned by Carol Novis

§  Senior Sleuths: Not Dead Yet! by Ang Pompano

§  A Much Younger Sleuth by Cynthia Riggs

§  Murder and Mayhem in a Modern Noir Style by M. Glenda Rosen (aka Marcia Rosen)

§  Old Folks Are Just Neat by Nancy Swing

§  Why My Protagonist Is a “Woman of a Certain Age” by Ilene Schneider

§  Edward Gorey, Detective by C J Verburg

§  Mysteries After Sixty by Livia Washburn



§  Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Sandie Herron, Lesa Holstine, L.J. Roberts, Lucinda Surber

§  In Short: You’re Never Too Old by Marvin Lachman

§  Just the Facts: A Cop for Three Quarters of a Century! by Jim Doherty

§  Real Italy Mysteries by Cathy Pickens

§  Crime Seen: Miss Marple and Beyond by Kate Derie

§  POV: The First Hundred Years Are the Hardest by Rita Lakin

§  From the Editor’s Desk by Janet A. Rudolph

Saturday, September 19, 2020

SleuthSayers: Who Are Those Short People? by John Floyd

SleuthSayers: Who Are Those Short People?: A few weeks ago I did a column here about obscure movies . The point was, all of us have seen good movies that everybody knows about, but th...

SMFS Member Publication News: Stacy Woodson

SMFS list member Stacy Woodson’s mystery short story “Butter Late Than Never” appears  is in the current issue (September 28, 2020) of  Woman’s World Magazine. The publication is available on some newsstands and by subscription.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Thursday, September 17, 2020

SMFS Member Publishing News: Rosemary McCracken

SMFS list member Rosemary McCracken’s latest book, Uncharted Waters, was published in eBook format by Carrick Publishing last month. The novel, which is the fourth book in the Pat Tierney Mystery Series, is now out in paperback format as well. The read is available from Amazon and other vendors. 




It’s Pat Tierney’s chance to run her own business, the way she wants to run a business. Without anyone breathing down her neck. She’s done her homework, and she’s found a small financial planning practice that looks like a good fit. Its purchase means taking out a large loan to finance the deal, and she has no idea whether the clients she will acquire will stay with her. It’s risky, but she’s willing to proceed.The one thing she hasn’t factored in is a murder. Dean Monaghan, the business’s vendor, is found stabbed to death in his office shortly after the sale document is signed. Attempting to maintain her business’s good reputation, Pat searches for Dean’s killer—and the reason why he was killed.When Dean’s son, Lukas, tries to put her out of business, Pat finds herself living her worst nightmare. She’s ventured into uncharted waters that are teeming with sharks. 

SMFS Member Publishing News: David Goudsward

SMFS list member David Goudsward’s book, Sun, Sand, and Sea Serpents was published last March by Anomalist Books. Available in both print and digital formats, the read is available from Amazon and other vendors. An excerpt from the book is available in the September 2020 issue of Fortean Times.



Ever since Columbus spotted mermaids, sea monsters, and mystery lizards in the New World, sightings of a diverse array of marine cryptids have continued unabated in the waters of Florida, the Southeastern coast, and the Caribbean. Dinosaurs, mermaids, and sea serpents in a range of colors and lengths, along with monster sharks, mystery seals, and giant penguins, all seem to have made the tourist-friendly waters of the region their home. In Florida, it became a running joke that the tourist season officially started when the first sea serpent report appeared in the newspapers.

What's behind all the reports? Hoaxes? Some certainly are. Yellow journalism? Yes, sometimes. Misidentifications? It's pretty common. A way to drum up business?  Shocking, but true. But in that mix, there are probably some unidentified animals as well. David Goudsward digs up the original sources and interviews to sort fact from fiction, and tells some fascinating stories along the way. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

SMFS Members Publishing News: Writers and Publishers Network Newsletter: September 2020

SMFS list members are published in the September Newsletter of the Writers and Publishers Network. Those list members are:

Rabbi Ilene Schneider with “What Makes a Jewish Book Jewish?’

Lesley Budewitz with “Is PR a Necessary Evil?”

Both pieces can be read online at the links. One can also signup for the free newsletter at as well as a paid membership option.

Monday, September 14, 2020

SMFS Member Publishing News: Frank Zafiro

Today is publication day for SMFS list member Frank Zafiro’s new book, Badge Heavy. Co-written with Colin Conway, this is the third book in the series that began with Charlie-316. Published by Down & Out Books, the police procedural is available from the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors in a variety of formats.

Publisher Synopsis:

When the Spokane Police Anti-Crime Team (ACT) was formed, the expectation was that its efforts would make a dent in the city’s rising crime rate. In only its first few weeks of existence, the team has done even better than hoped for, racking up arrests and seizures of guns, drugs, money, and stolen cars. Everyone from the mayor to the citizenry seems happy with ACT’s swift results.
But there are darker agendas surrounding this team. Bonds of loyalty are being forged, secret schemes made, and suspicions are focused in all directions. In the midst of run-and-gun police work, officers will discover that not everything is as it seems. Who to trust becomes a life and death question for everyone involved.
In this third installment of the Officer Tyler Garrett saga, the stakes have risen even higher. Garrett seeks to solidify his position. Officer Gary Stone undergoes a surprising metamorphosis. Captain Farrell tries to bring the situation to a head. Rookie Jun Yang struggles to find her place, while Officer Ray Zielinski must repay a debt that threatens to land him in greater danger. Meanwhile, Detective Wardell Clint continues to gnaw at the bone of the case that has consumed him for almost two years.
Something has got to give.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 121

News of the new issue as posted by Peter DiChellis to our SMFS list…
This week’s blog spikes the ball for short mystery & crime fiction with links to game-winning reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes: All the latest free-to-read flash fiction from Mondays Are Murder (Akashic Books).
Plus—Tricks of the trade: EQMM editor Janet Hutchings discusses how to use (and not use) a villain’s confession in mystery stories.
And complete reviews of both an impossible-crime collection by superstar shorts author Ed Hoch and the April issue of Mystery Weekly Magazine.
A short walk down a dark street (#121). Celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.

Best wishes,

Little Big Crimes Review: Kevin of the Dead by Eoin Colfer

Little Big Crimes: Kevin of the Dead, by Eoin Colfer:   "Kevin of the Dead," by Eoin Colfer, in The Strand Magazine,  Feb.-May 2020. A page into this story I found myself hoping a crim...

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

SMFS Member Publishing News: Edith Maxwell

Yesterday was publication day for SMFS list member Edith Maxwell’s new book, Taken Too Soon: A Quaker Midwife Mystery. Published by Beyond the Page Publishing, this is the sixth book in the series that began with Delivering the Truth. The read is available in both print and eBook formats from Amazon and other vendors.

Publisher Synopsis:

A new book in the Agatha Award-winning series by Edith Maxwell!
Quaker midwife Rose Carroll must turn her investigative skills on her own family when a young woman’s murder stuns a New England community . . .
Following a long betrothal, midwife Rose Carroll and her beloved David are finally celebrating their marriage with friends and relatives, when a most disturbing telegram interrupts the festivities: the young ward of Rose’s aunt has suffered a mysterious death, and Rose’s help is needed urgently on Cape Cod. Reluctantly agreeing to mix her honeymoon plans with murder, Rose embarks on an investigation that will expose family secrets and a community’s bigotry.
As Rose does her best to comfort her aunt in her loss and also learn as much as possible about the poor young victim’s death, she discovers that each new clue points to a confounding list of suspects: a close friend of the victim who may have harbored secret resentments, an estranged brother of David’s with an unsavory reputation, and the son of a Native American midwife who supposedly led the young woman astray. And as Rose grows closer to identifying the perpetrator, the solution will rattle her assumptions about her own family and faith . . .

Thibodeaux: #WednesdayWordswithFriends welcomes Jacqueline Seewald

Pamela S Thibodeaux ~ "Inspirational with an Edge!": #WednesdayWordswithFriends welcomes Jacqueline See...: Good Morning, Today is the day we say our final goodbye to my dad. I appreciate all the love and support you have shown and covet your conti...

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

SMFS Member Publishing News: Gary Phillips

Today is the first day for Gary Phillips' online comic strip, “Lady Gone Missing: A Sam Cairo Case.” Illustrated by Manoel Magalh√£es, the subscription comic strip is hosted at Aces Weekly. To subscribe and read the comic strip and others, go to the Aces Weekly website.

Gary’s Synopsis:

The setting is 1958 Los Angeles and private eye is Sam Cairo who has his office in his uncle’s gas station in South Central. An old Army buddy comes to Sam to find his missing fianc√©. Events take Sam and the groom-to-be out to the desert confronting a cult up to supernatural no good. Cairo is inspired by the real-life Sam Marlowe, reputed in an L.A. Times article to be the first licensed black PI in town. This is a subscription deal, about a $1.30 a week but you get to read the 6 strips that are up for 7 weeks --