Friday, January 31, 2020

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

SMFS Member Publishing News: Frank Zafiro

SMFS list member Frank Zafiro’s new book, In The Cut: A SpoCompton Crime Novel is now out from Down & Out Books. The read is available in both print and eBook formats from Amazon and other vendors.


Boone has been prospecting with the Iron Brotherhood outlaw motorcycle gang for almost a year, trying to earn his patch with the club. When a simple muscle job goes terribly wrong, his world changes forever.
He is quickly plunged deeper into a world of drug and intimidation, and the lines between right and wrong blur. The bonds of brotherhood that he forges with other members clash with the dark actions they take. His girlfriend, Faith, represents a danger of another kind, but Boone can’t stop himself where she is concerned, either.
When someone close to him dies, and rampant rumors of a rat in the clubhouse puts everyone in danger, Boone comes to learn what it really means to live his life in the cut.

Criminal Minds: Where Else? by Frank Zafiro

Criminal Minds: Where Else?: The crime and mystery fiction we tend to read can be very US and Europe centric. Where else in the world would you like to see a crime fi...

Something Is Going To Happen Blog: “A Book to Remember” (by Merrilee Robson)

Something Is Going To Happen Blog: “A Book to Remember” (by Merrilee Robson)

SleuthSayers: You've Tried The Rest; Now Read The Best by Robert Lopresti

SleuthSayers: You've Tried The Rest; Now Read The Best: This is my eleventh annual list of the best mystery stories of the year as chosen by me. They are selected from my weekly best-story-re...

Monday, January 27, 2020

SMFS Member Podcast: Alan Orloff

SMFS list member Alan Orloff’s short story, “Bark Simpson and the Scent of Death”  is currently the subject of Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast. Actor Sean Hopper reads the tale.

Podcast Synopsis:

This episode features the mystery short story, “Bark Simpson and the Scent of Death” by Alan Orloff, read by local actor Sean Hopper. This story was published in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies in March or 2018. You can learn more about Alan Orloff 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.

Little Big Crimes Review: Head Over Heels by Craig Faustus Buck

Little Big Crimes: Head Over Heels, by Craig Faustus Buck: "Head Over Heels," by Craig Faustus Buck, in Murder-a-Go-Go's, edited by Holly West,  Down and Out Books, 2019. This is th...

SMFS Members Nominated for the 2019 Agatha Awards

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. Malice Domestic 32 (May 1-3, 2020) sees seven SMFS list members up for an Agatha Award in three different categories.

In the “Best Short Story” category this year there are four members that are nominated. Those members are:

Kaye George for “Grist for the Mill” in A Murder of Crows (Darkhouse Books).

Barb Goffman for “Alex’s Choice” in Crime Travel (Wildside Press)

Cynthia Kuhn for “The Blue Ribbon” in Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible (Wildside Press)

Art Taylor for “Better Days” in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine: May/June 2019.

We also have members up for Agatha Awards for longer works. Those members are:

Tara Laskowski is up for the Agatha Award in the “Best First Mystery Novel” for One Night Gone.

Ang Pompano is up for the Agatha Award in the “Best First Mystery Novel” for When It’s Time For Leaving.

Edith Maxwell is up for the Agatha Award in the “Best Historical Novel” category for Charity’s Burden: A Quaker Midwife Mystery (Midnight Ink).

SMFS salutes our members on this honor and wishes them the best as they represent SMFS at Malice Domestic.  The full list of nominees can be found at the Malice Domestic website.

SMFS Members Nominated for the 2020 Edgar Awards

The nominees for 20209 Edgar Awards, so named to honor Edgar Allen Poe, have been announced in the Mystery Writers Of America. Winners will receive their awards on the evening of April 30, 2020 at the  74th Gala Banquet in New York City. There are twelve categories in fiction and nonfiction and SMFS list members have been nominated this year in three categories.

The nominated members and their categories are:

Susan Bickford for Dread of Winter (Kensington Publishing) in the category of  “Best Paperback Original.”

Tara Laskowski for One Night Gone (Graydon House) in the category of  “The Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award.”

Gigi Pandian for The Alchemist’s Illusion in the category of “G. P. Putnam’s Sons Sue Grafton Memorial Award.”

The SMFS salutes our list members in this accomplishment and wish them all the best as they represent the SMFS. The full list of all the nominees can be found on the MWA website.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 88

As posted by SMFS list member Peter DiChellis to our list….
This week’s blog lauds short mystery and crime fiction with links to a wicked mix of reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes, Four free-to-read stories in the new issue of Flash Bang Mysteries.
Plus, Tricks of the Trade: the many different ways for characters to show anger and fear.
A short walk down a dark street (#88). Celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,

SleuthSayers Blog: Record Keeping by R. T. Lawton

SleuthSayers: Record Keeping: Two weeks ago, Travis posted his spreadsheet method for keeping track of his writing and his submissions. I can see how his method works fo...

Thursday, January 23, 2020

SMFS Members Published in Flash Bang Mysteries: Winter 2020

SMFS list members are published in the just released Flash Bang Mysteries: Winter 2020  issue. The members in this 18th issue are:

Herschel Cozine with “Generation Gap.” This tale is the Cover Story as well as the “Editor’s Choice” selection.

Robert Petyo with “Time’s Up.”

Sunday, January 19, 2020

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 87

As posted by Peter DiChellis to our SMFS list,
With my Wordpress access back on track, this week’s blog keeps on rolling for short mystery and crime fiction with links to reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes: A collection of previously uncollected stories by Patricia Highsmith (best known, of course, for The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train).
Plus: The acquisitions editor at Pulp Literature (paying market, open for submission in all genres) gives quick tips on Developing Strong Characters, Forcing Impossible Choices in Act II, and Two Exercises for Sparking Original Ideas.
A short walk down a dark street (#87). Celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,

SMFS Members Published in Mystery Readers Journal Private Eyes II

Several SMFS members have published works in The Mystery Readers Journal: Private Eyes II (Volume 35, No. 4) now out from Mystery Readers International. The read is in print and pdf  formats on their website. The SMFS members in the issue are:

Jim Doherty with “Hard-Boiled Halley” as well as “The Private Dicks Decalaogue.”

Paul D. Marks with “Knights in Tarnished Armor.”

M. A. Monnin with “A 30 Minute Dose of Gumshoe.”

Andrew Welsh-Huggins with “Discovering A Columbus Private Eye.”

Website Synopsis: 

§  Mr. Daly, Mr. Hammett and a Paternity Test by Kevin Burton Smith
§  Solving Life Itself: Why We Still Love Robert B. Parker’s PIs by Jodi Compton
§  A 30-Minute Dose of Gumshoe by M.A. Monnin
§  Pushing the Private Eye Envelope by Jonathan Woods
§  San Francisco’s Finest—Candy Matson, Yukon 2-8209 by Jack French
§  Hard-Boiled Halley by Jim Doherty
§  The Private Eye as Cold-Warrior: Hammer vs. the Hammer and Sickle by J. L. Abramo
§  Best Places to Buy Burner Phones by Rona Bell
§  Natalie McMasters: A PI for the New Millennium by Thomas A. Burns, Jr.
§  Private Eyes: Past and Present by Grant Bywaters
§  My PIs, Me by Reed Farrel Coleman
§  The Danger of Mixing Truth and Fiction by Robin Donovan
§  The Scariest Detective by Alison Gaylin
§  The Accidental Crime Novelist by Howard Michael Gould
§  Obsessed with Writing by Joe Ide
§  How Weird Is My Private Eye? by Susan Kuchinskas
§  Today or Yesterday’s Private Eye? by Jerry Kennealy
§  Why Go Down Those Mean Streets? by Dana King
§  Why I Love PI Novels by D.P. Lyle
§  Knights in Tarnished Armor by Paul D. Marks
§  TV PIs Aren’t Real—You Know That, Right? by Steve Pease
§  I’m Baaaack! A Return to My First Love by Robert J. Randisi
§  Magic Eye by Janet Roger
§  Discovering A Columbus Private Eye by Andrew Welsh-Huggins
§  iPrivateEye by John Shepphird
§  Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Lesa Holstine, John Dwaine McKenna, L.J. Roberts
§  The Private Dicks’ Decalogue by Jim Doherty
§  The Children’s Hour: Private Eyes by Gay Toltl Kinman
§  Real Private Eyes by Cathy Pickens
§  From the Editor’s Desk by Janet A. Rudolph

Saturday, January 18, 2020

SMFS Member Publishing News: Ang Pompano

SMFS list member Ang Pompano’s short story, “The Bucket List: A Mystery Short Story” appears online today at King’s River Life Magazine. It was originally published in 2015 in the anthology, New England Crime Stories: Red Dawn. You can read the story here.

SleuthSayers: Writing for Fun by John M. Floyd

SleuthSayers: Writing for Fun: As mentioned in two of my earlier posts at this blog, I'm not one to stray far from my comfort zone in my writing, and I also don&#39...

Friday, January 17, 2020

Monday, January 13, 2020

Sunday, January 12, 2020

SMFS Member Publishing News: Diana Deverell

SMFS list member Diana Deverell reports today that her story, “Clean and Godly in Denmark” was serialized in two recent issues of The Norwegian American. Published online and free to read, the first part of her story appeared on December 24, 2019 and can be read here. Part two is found here and was published January 9, 2020.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Little Big Crimes Review: Black Friday by Steve Brewer

Little Big Crimes: Black Friday, by Steve Brewer: "Black Friday," by Steve Brewer, in Beast Without A Name, edited by Brian Thornton, Down and Out Books, 2019. On the day of t...

SMFS Member Publishing News: Stephen D. Rogers

The online zine of All Due Respect resumed operations yesterday after a long hiatus and started things off with a short story by SMFS list member Stephen D. Rogers.  His short story, “MAD DOG,” is free to read online and can be found here.

The First Two Pages: “The Boy Detective & The Summer of ’74” by Art Taylor

The First Two Pages: “The Boy Detective & The Summer of ’74” by Art Taylor

Sunday, January 5, 2020

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 86

As posted by SMFS list member Peter DiChellis…

Sunday. A fine day for football and a fine day for a walk. A short walk down a dark street.
This week’s blog tackles short mystery and crime fiction with links to a bruising blitz of reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes—hot off the presses: links to the January issue of Mystery Weekly Magazine and Issue #6 of Occult Detective Magazine (Formerly Occult Detective Quarterly.)
Plus: A devotee of “rejectomancy” (the arcane practice of divining hidden meaning from rejection letters) reflects on three types of tough rejections and what to do about them.
Also: An essay in appreciation of locked room mysteries. And three free stories from Crimson Streets.
A short walk down a dark street (#86). Celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,

SMFS Member Publishing News: William Burton McCormick

SMFS list member William Burton McCormick’s short story, “Fast Forward” appears in the Mystery Weekly Magazine: January 2020 issue. The read is available from the publisher  and at Amazon in both print and digital formats and other vendors.


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:

“Fast Forward” by William Burton Mccormick: Mr. Gothe has rival split personalities. The first, "Jimmy" is a nondescript event planner. The second, "James" is a genius detective. Jimmy hates James. James loathes Jimmy. But which persona will solve the mystery of the murdered art thief?
“A Siege Of Herons” by Christie Cochrell: A well-known Mallorcan artist with a remote family tie to Cezanne goes missing, and Inspector Tomás Vilalta traces her to the Medieval walled town of Alcúdia.
“Murderer Bill” by John Grant: When Denny was small, his mom told him about Murderer Bill, the man who seeks out kids who've been bad. Now he's grown up, Denny sometimes wants to be bad, but the thought of Murderer Bill keeps him in check. Then Tabitha walks into his life ...
“The Beresford Case” by Ken Teutsch: A psychic detective who is not as he seems, a damsel in distress who is not as she seems and an English manor which is not as it seems.
“When The Circus Almost Came To Town” by John H. Dromey: It’s no laughing matter when a boomtown is overrun by clowns. Or is it?
“Murder In The Workplace” by Bruce Harris: An office supply company security director investigates the murder of a sales manager. Four salespeople had motive and opportunity.

SMFS Member Publishing News: Travis Richardson

SMFS list member Travis Richardson’s short story, “Lee Marvin” appears in the recently released anthology, Trouble & Strife: Crime Stories Inspired by Cockney Rhyming Slang. Edited by Simon Wood, the read is published by Down & Out Books. The read is available in both eBook and print format from the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors.


Welcome to the world of Cockney rhyming slang, where what is said means something completely different than how it sounds. Originally, it was a coded language created by criminals for deceiving undercover police officers during Victorian times. Common phrases like septic tank, holy water, brown bread, tomfoolery and mince pies don’t mean what you think they mean. Others, like Barnaby Rudge, gypsy’s kiss, smash and grab, butcher’s hook, kick and prance and bubble and squeak paint a picture.

There are stories to be written about these phrases and in Trouble & Strife, the coded and colorful phrases of Cockney rhyming slang became the inspiration for eleven killer crimes stories from writers on both sides of the pond. A few choice words include:

Babbling Brook is a talkative inmate at the state penitentiary.
A hairdresser has to pay his dues for a crime that took place at Barnet Fair.
And you never want to meet a Lady from Bristol.

You don’t have to understand rhyming slang to enjoy this book. You just have to enjoy a damn good story. To see what the authors have come up with you'll have to turn the page and have a butcher’s.

Edited by Simon Wood with stories by Steve Brewer, Susanna Calkins, Colin Campbell, Angel Luis Colón, Robert Dugoni, Paul Finch, Catriona McPherson, Travis Richardson, Johnny Shaw, Jay Stringer, and Sam Wiebe.

SMFS Members Published in Pulphouse Fiction Magazine: Issue 8

Several SMFS members are published in the recently released Pulphouse Fiction Magazine: Issue 8. Published by WMG Publishing, the read is available in print and digital formats from Amazon, the publisher, and other vendors. The members in the issue are:

David H. Hendrickson with “Seeing Him for the First Time.”

Robert Jeschonek with “Blackbeard’s Aliens.”

O’Neil De Noux with “Pretty Rita.” 

Annie Reed with “Life, With Cats.”

Publisher Synopsis:

The Cutting Edge of Modern Short Fiction
A three-time Hugo Award nominated magazine, this issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine offers up eighteen fantastic stories by some of the best writers working in modern short fiction. No genre limitations, no topic limitations, just great stories. Attitude, feel, and high quality fiction equals Pulphouse.
“This is definitely a strong start. All the stories have a lot of life to them, and are worthwhile reading.”—Tangent Online on Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, Issue #1
“The Hero of Calliope Springs: A Clockwork Cowboy Story” by J. Steven York
“Dirt Dancer” by Joslyn Chase
“Eternal Flame” by Rob Vagle
“Seeing Him for the First Time” by David H. Hendrickson
“No Common Scents” by Jim Gotaas
“With Light Years Between Us” by Robert J. McCarter
“Unfamiliar, Foreign, Outré” by Jerry Oltion
“Taking Care of Business” by Mary Jo Rabe
“A Night Under the Stars” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Pretty Rita” by O'Neil De Noux
“Leftovers” by B.A. Paul
“Degrading” by Ezekiel James Boston
“Thumpman at the Keys” by Kent Patterson
“Road Kill: A Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. Story” by Kevin J. Anderson
“A Warriors Death” by Stephanie Writt
“In-Class Assignment” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Life, With Cats” Annie Reed
“Blackbeard's Aliens” by Robert Jeschonek
“Minions at Work: Head Case” by J. Steven York