Saturday, September 23, 2023

SMFS Member Publishing News: Liz and Drew and Betty Lou by John Floyd

SMFS list member John Floyd’s short story, Liz and Drew and Betty Lou, appears in the just released Strand Magazine #70. The issue is available at the website and from other vendors.



Unpublished Truman Capote Story

Truman Capote’s unpublished, lost short story “Another Day in Paradise” has now been published for the first time ever here in The Strand. The story remained unpublished until it was found handwritten in the pages of a red and gold scrolled Florentine notebook. It has, like so much of Capote’s other works, some autobiographical elements, as well as Capote’s signature style—evocative descriptions, wry humor, and all too human characters. While Capote will forever be associated with his 1958 novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s, made more famous by the 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, and his 1966 true-crime novel In Cold Blood, it was short stories that were the author’s first love and enduring passion.  And once again, here is an unforgettable story from the quintessential mid-century American author.

Also in this issue, the incomparable, always unique, and ever-prolific Joyce Carol Oates returns to The Strand with “The Chair of Tranquility,” a haunting tale that feels simultaneously classic and contemporary. John M. Floyd, speeds us to more modern times with an AI-inspired caper involving a couple of teenagers and a captivating car in “Liz and Drew and Mary Lou.” And what would an issue of The Strand be without a Sherlock Holmes yarn? Derrick Belanger, has Holmes taking a back seat this time, allowing Watson to try his hand at detecting in “Dr. Watson Takes the Case.” Headlining this issue’s interview is Martin Cruz Smith, the legendary creator of the Arkady Renko series. In this insightful interview with Strand managing editor Andrew Gulli, Cruz Smith shares his perspective on writing, his career in journalism, and the state of affairs in Eastern Europe. As usual, The Strand’s team of expert book reviewers has the scoop on the latest offerings from the mystery world.

 In addition featuring this unpublished short story by Truman Capote, we’ve featured scores of unpublished works by legendary authors including  Shirley Jackson, Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Chandler, H.G. Wells, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, Tennessee Williams, Louisa May Alcott, John Steinbeck, and Ray Bradbury.

SMFS Members Published in School of Hard Knox

Several SMFS list members are published in School of Hard Knox. Published by Crippen & Landru Publishers last month, the anthology is available in a variety of formats from the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors. The SMFS list members in the read are:


Editor Donna Andrews with “Not Another Secret Passage Story."


Toni L.P. Kelner with “Baby Trap.”


Marcia Talley with “The Island Boy Detective Agency.”


Editor Art Taylor with "Ordeals."



Rebels with a Cause!

Nearly 100 years ago, The Reverend Monsignor Ronald Knox of the famed Detection Club developed ten rules-a Decalogue he called them-that he felt were "necessary to the full enjoyment of a detective story." Fairness with readers seemed an author's highest calling, and-lo!-"the faculty for writing a good mystery story is rare."

Writers (those heretics!) regularly bristle at a challenge, and being told that a literary twist is forbidden makes their fingers twitch at the keyboard.

This anthology contains fourteen of today's outstanding English and American short story authors, trying their best to break one-or more!-of the good monsignor's rules. Twins, supernatural events, and sleuths not sharing their clues are all in here-transgressions in all directions.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

SMFS Members Published in Vautrin - Volume 5, Issue 1, Fall 2023


Several SMFS list members are published in the new issue, Vautrin - Volume 5, Issue 1, Fall 2023. Edited by Todd Robins, the print issue is available at Watermark Books and Café. The SMFS list members in the issue are:


Jeff Esterholm with “Tollund Man.”


James D.F. Hannah with "Murder Ballad."


Rob D. Smith with “Our Most Sorrowful Mother of the Blessed Hardwood.”


Website Description:

This issue features seedy goings-on at a Spanish Colonial pile, a lawyer’s scrap with a London tabloid, an old guy who’s haunted by a ghost, and a town team baller with a Napoleon complex. These scenarios, a labor strike right out of today’s headlines, and much more in Vautrin Fall 2023.


Table of Contents



Nick Kolakowski, Back to Hell House

Jen Conley, They’re Coming for You, Baby

Saira Viola, Seven Red

Rob Smith, Our Most Sorrowful Mother of the Blessed Hardwood

Jeff Esterholm, Tollund Man

Lyz Mancini, Sugarhigh

Michael Maiello, Deb Needs Braces

Ilyn Welch, In a Snap

Michael A. Gonzales, Brazil

James D.F. Hannah, Murder Ballad



Scott Richard, The King Queen of Sixth Street


Book Review

Tim Hennessey on Lew Berney’s novel, Dark Ride


Photography by Hannah Miner


Design by Beth Golay

SMFS Members Published in Thrill Ride: The Magazine #3: No W.W.M. (Western White Males)


Today is publication day for Thrill Ride: The Magazine #3: No W.W.M. (Western White Males). Published by Buchman Bookworks, Inc., you can pick up the issue at the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors. The SMFS members in the issue are: 


K.L. Abrahamson with "An Adventurous Nature."


Editor M. L. ‘Matt” Buchman with "Dead People Happen."


Diana Deverell with “Spooked.”


C.A. Rowland with “The Cost of Admission.”


Laura Ware with "One More Time."


Amazon Description:

12 Tales not led by WWMs.

Thrillers may be the last great bastion of the Western White Male. From Doc Savage to James Bond. From Dirk Pitt to Alex Cross to Jack Reacher.

Now is the time to venture into the rest of the world. Who rides to the rescue? Vietnamese magicians, female undercover operatives, Chinese assassins, and women like you never imagined.

Western White Males? Who needs them!

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

SMFS Members Published in Animals in Mysteries I, Volume 39, No. 3, Fall 2023

Several SMFS list members have published essays in Animals in Mysteries I, Volume 39, No. 3, Fall 2023. Published earlier this week by Mystery Readers International, the read is available in print and pdf formats on the website. The SMFS list members published in the issue are:



Elizabeth Elwood with the author essay, “Reinventing Max and Thomasina Bug.”


Shannon Hollinger with the author essay. “The Terrier Takeover.”


Mary Reed with the author essay, “Cat Mummies and Other Feline Tales.” (Cowritten with Eric Mayer.)


Elena E. Smith with the author essay, “The One Percent Cat.”








  • Agatha’s Ark: Animals in Classic Crime Fiction by Kate Jackson



  • No Wombats Involved by Donna Andrews
  • On Horses and Drug Sniffing Dogs by Anne Louise Bannon
  • Solving Crime From a Dog’s Point of View by Louisa Bennet
  • Dogs Are Supernatural by Jeffrey B. Burton
  • Rescuing Animals Through Mysteries by Cate Conte
  • What The Dog Knows by Krista Davis
  • When Disaster Strikes, Dogs Answer the Call by Sara Driscoll
  • How Tugger Became Boone by Darlene Dziomba
  • Reinventing Max and Thomasina Bug by Elizabeth Elwood
  • The Character of Creatures by Kate Fellowes
  • The Making of a Hobby by Chris Goff
  • Hold Your Horses by Sasscer Hill
  • Beasts in the Garden by Cary Griffith
  • The Strength of Animals by Elle Hartford
  • I Don’t Do Goodbyes by Nancy Lynn Jarvis
  • The Great (Cat) Detectives by Sofie Kelly
  • The Terrier Takeover by Shannon Hollinger
  • A Foot and a Half Long Bundle of Love by Syrl Kazlo
  • A Writer’s Recipe for Happiness: Books and Dogs and Trees by Paula Munier
  • Animals and the Mysterious Ordinary by Priscilla Paton
  • Tale of a Whale by Richie Narvaez
  • Cat Mummies and Other Feline Tales by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer
  • The One Percent Cat by Elena E. Smith
  • Then There Was a Dog by Linda L. Richards
  • Getting To Know Dogs by Leigh Russell
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Wendall Thomas
  • Eight Paws, Two Wings by Lois Winston



  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Lesa Holstine, Kathy Boone Reel, L.J. Roberts
  • Children’s Hour: Animals in Mysteries by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • From the Editor’s Desk by Janet A. Rudolph 

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

SMFS Member Publishing News: Sleep Rough by Brandon Barrows

SMFS list member Brandon Barrows’ short story, Sleep Rough, is published at Shotgun Honey. You can read the tale for free here.

SMFS Members Published in Unnerving Magazine 18


SMFS list members are published in Unnerving Magazine 18. The issue was released last week as a PDF and is available for free online here. SMFS list members in the read are:


Michael Bracken with "Neighbor Boy."


J. Michael Taylor with an excerpt from his upcoming novel, No Score.

SMFS Members Published/Honored in The Mysterious Bookshop Presents the Best Mystery Stories of the Year 2023


Today is publication day for The Mysterious Bookshop Presents the Best Mystery Stories of the Year 2023. Published by the Mysterious Press, the book is available in a variety of formats at the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors. Some SMFS list members have stories reprinted in the main section of the book and another is listed in the “Honor Roll” section. The list members that reported their presence in the book are:


Main Full Story Section:


Joslyn Chase with “Cold Hands, Warm Heart.” Originally published in Cold Cases: Mystery, Crime, and Mayhem #12, published by Knotted Road Press.


David Krugler, with “Two Sharks Walk into a Bar.” Originally published in Mystery Magazine: September 2022.


Annie Reed with "The Promise." Originally published in Cold Cases: Mystery, Crime, and Mayhem #12,  published by Knotted Road Press.


Joseph S. Walker with "Crime Scene." Originally published in Malice in Dallas: Metroplex Mysteries Volume 1, published by the North Dallas Chapter of Sisters in Crime.


Honor Roll 

Michael Bracken with "Kissing Cousins." Originally published in Starlite Pulp Review #1, published by Starlite Pulp.



Amor Towles selects the best mystery short stories of the year, including tales by Andrew Child, Jeffrey Deaver, and T.C. Boyle. 

Under the auspices of New York City's legendary mystery fiction specialty bookstore, The Mysterious Bookshop, and aided by Edgar Award-winning anthologist Otto Penzler, New York Times bestseller Amor Towles has selected the twenty most puzzling, most thrilling, and most mysterious short stories from the past year, collected now in one entertaining volume. The volume also contains a "bonus story" selected from the bookshop's rare book room, featuring a look into the history of this illustrious genre.

Monday, September 18, 2023

SMFS Colorado Gold Rush Award Winners


SMFS congratulates SMFS list members, Mindy Kinnaman, and the sisters, Jennifer and Jessica Slee, on their Colorado Gold Rush Awards win. The awards were handed out by the Rocky Moutian Fiction Writers earlier this month. You can learn more about the awards and the group at their website as well as see the full list of nominees and winners. Our members and their awards are:


Mindy Kinnaman won a Colorado Gold Rush Award in the “Romance Category” category for the unpublished novel, Closer Than You Know.


Jennifer and Jessica Slee won a Colorado Gold Rush Award in the “Mainstream/Literary” category for the unpublished novel, Perfect Fifth.

SMFS Member Publishing News: Sleep Like a Baby by Julie Hastrup

SMFS list member Julie Hastrup’s short story, Sleep Like a Baby, is published at Shotgun Honey. You can read the tale for free here.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

SMFS Member Publishing News: Up in Smoke by Gregory Meece

SMFS list member Gregory Meece’s short story, Up in Smoke, is now published in Black Cat Weekly #106. Published by Wildside Press, the issue is available here in digital format.


Website Description:

Welcome to Black Cat Weekly. Our 107th issue has everything you could possibly want: police detectives, spacemen, cats, boy detectives, a man (literally) fighting cancer, an abandonned mill chimney, murder in space…. I could go on and on, but that would take all the fun out of it for you!

Here’s the complete lineup:


Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure:

“Up In Smoke,” by Gregory Meece [Michael Bracken Presents short story]

“Point Taken” by Hal Charles [short story]

“Method for Murder,” by Michael Mallory [Barb Goffman Presents short story]

“The Blue Line,” by Hal Meredith [short story]

The Mystery Hunters at the Haunted Lodge, by Capwell Wyckoff [novel]

“Earth Transit,” by Charles L. Fontenay [short story]


Science Fiction & Fantasy:

“Carcinoma Angels,” by Norman Spinrad [short story]

“No Heaven Will Not Ever Heaven Be…,” by A.R. Morlan [short story]

“Earth Transit,” by Charles L. Fontenay [short story]

“Deadline,” by Walter L. Kleine [short story]

“Rockabye, Grady,” by David Mason [short story]

SMFS Member Publishing News: Stacy, Under The Sky by Joseph S. Walker

SMFS list member Joseph S. Walker’s short story, Stacy, Under The Sky, appears in the recently released anthology, So West: Wrong Turn. Published by the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter, the read is available in digital and print formats at Amazon.


Amazon Description: 

Assassins ♦ Blackmail ♦ Revenge ♦ Protecting the family ♦ Redemption ♦ Escape from abuse Survival.

Surprises and twists abound in these sixteen stories set on Arizona’s city streets, highways, and in the desolate desert where the heat muddles the mind and the next turn may be your last.

Get your copy today.

Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Contributing Authors: Paula Barr Skillicorn, Patricia A. Bonn, Lauren Buckingham, Susan Budavari, Jo Burrough, William D. Butler, Meg E Dobson, Suzanne E Flaig, Robert Gibson, Kim McCavan, Kathy McIntosh, Laura MacKenzie, Susan Cummins Miller, Claire A Murray, D.R. Ransdell, Joseph S. Walker. Lead Editor: Claire A Murray. Co-editors: Meg E Dobson, Suzanne E Flaig, Sarah Smith. Cover Designer: Maegan Beaumont.

SMFS Member Publishing News: Yellow Stars by Elizabeth Zelvin

SMFS list member Elizabeth Zelvin’s poem, Yellow Stars, was recently published at Portside. The issue is online and a free read here.

Friday, September 15, 2023

SMFS Member Publishing News: Free as a Bird by John M. Floyd

SMFS list member John M. Floyd’s short story, Free as a Bird, appears in the current issue of Woman's World. The September 18th issue is available in grocery stores, newsstands, and at Woman’s World.

SMFS Member Publishing News: Dead Men Do Tell Tales by Teel James Glenn

SMFS list member Teel James Glenn’s novella, Dead Men Do Tell Tales, has been published in Cirsova Magazine of Thrilling Adventure and Daring Suspense Issue #16 / Fall 2023. The issue was released today and is available at Amazon and other vendors.


Amazon Description:


The Gold Exigency

(Part 3 of 4)


Conrock and Mackstar narrowly escaped the Five-Thousand Fingered Hand! Can they track down the missing Philean with help from Phaedra and her companions?!




Dead Men Do Tell Tales


A gangster with vampire thugs is on the warpath, and Dead Fred’s still-talking head may hold the key as to why! Will Ghostmaker Jack Silence get answers or the bite?!


Fossils of Truth and Grace


A young grad student staying on the Cornish coast discovers a witch’s pit! Is the mystery connected to her past? Her mother had been a guest at Trelawny Manor!


Metamorphoses at the Gate


There is nothing quite like a Summer friendship! However, Kaz is a stranger friend than most, especially since the local cult seems to have a keen interest in him!


The Chilling Account of the Wolf-Bann of Krallenburg

By J.E. Tabor

Krallenburg is beset by a werewolf! Can witchhunter Friedrich Rosch stop the monstrous curse before the town succumbs to siege by Protestant mercenaries!?



Short Stories

The Dusk Next Door


Every year, the children draw doodles for the Duskmen! And every year, one high-schooler must deliver them to the town of Dusk to keep them over there!


Children of Summer


A scouting party has gone missing! Can Aedyn and Kerry find them in the bug-infested post-apocalyptic wastes, or will they too become food for giant insects?!


The Angel Hanna


Alix has always been a bit odd… but her past is even stranger! An orphan tells her strange tale of friendship and loss—a story of a girl who thought she was an angel!


Trapped in the Loop


Kat has a daring plan to trap Rhygir’s forces, baiting them into a bend in the river where they themselves risk being cut off! Can Kat and Mangos hold their lines and catch Rhygir outside of Alness before his reinforcements are able to arrive?!


Texas Goth


Jesus Dunn Jr. plans to do away with his abusive father… And there are no wit-nesses, except for the strange Goth girl who has started following him around!


Black Sky, White Knight


Stranded in the woods without a mount, a Christian knight must make for Heils-berg Castle! Can he survive the trek through pagan territory and reach safety?!


To a Dead Soul in Morbid Love


In a ghoulish tale that drives to madness, the blasphemous corpse wizard Lord Tryphon, cheater of death, must make his grim way to the revelry of Dionysus!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

SMFS Members Published in Crimeucopia: Rule Britannia: Britannia Waves The Rules

Today is publication day for Crimeucopia: Rule Britannia: Britannia Waves The Rules. The new anthology includes short stories by several of our SMFS members. Published today by Murderous Ink Press, the read is available at Amazon and other vendors. SMFS list members in the read are:


 J. Aquino with "Murder at Elephant and Castle."


Edward Lodi with “The Big Dig.”


Daniel Marshall Wood with "Triple Crown."


Amazon Description:

This anthology, we hope, contains short stories that, were you to cut them in half with a knife, they would flash you their Union Jacks without a moment's hesitation.

Rule Britannia - Britannia Waves The Rules features fiction from Daniel Marshall Wood, Gerald Elias, S. E. Bailey, Alexander Frew, Kelly Lewis, Carew S. Bartley, Madeleine McDonald, Edward Lodi, Michaele Jordan, J. Aquino, David Rich, Kelly Zimmer, Sharon Richards, T. K. Howell, Maroula Blades, David William Johnson and Harris Coverley

The fiction ranges from general British cosy, through Harry Palmer and George Smiley territory, before going deep into very British Modern Noir. And as with all of these anthologies, we hope you'll find something that you immediately like, as well as something that takes you out of your comfort zone - and puts you into a completely new one. In other words, in the spirit of the Murderous Ink Press motto:

You never know what you like until you read it.

SMFS Members Published in Things That Go Jack In The Night


Today is publication day for the digital version of Things That Go Jack In The Night. Collected here are the written versions of the episodes that make up the sixth season of the Mysteries To Die For podcast. Published by Mysteries To Die For, the read is now available in digital and print formats at Amazon. Several SMFS list members have short stories in the read. Those members are:


Chuck Brownman with the stories, "Who Felled “Lumber Jack?” and "Jack the Knife."


Nikki Knight with "This Never Happened to Wolfman Jack."


Erica Obey with “One-Eyed Jack and the Suicide King.”


KM Rockwood with “A Package of Pepper Jack Cheese.”


Ed Teja with "The Death That Jack Died."


Amazon Description:

In the English language, there are a few, very special words that can function as nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. One word goes further, creating new words from old. That word is Jack. For your puzzle solving pleasure, Mysteries to Die For presents: Things that Go Jack in the Night. Twelve stories arranged for you to deduce the truth. Twelve “jacks” that should definitely not be taken at face value. It’s a race between you and the detective to find the killer amid the jack in the night.

Monday, September 11, 2023

SMFS Member Publishing News: Harborville by Robert Lopresti

SMFS list member Robert Lopresti’s short story, Harborville, was published today at TOUGH. The story is free to read online here.

SMFS Member Publishing News: Smooth: A Private Eye Mystery by O'Neil De Noux

SMFS list member O’Neil De Noux’s latest book, Smooth: A Private Eye Mystery is now out in print and eBook formats. This is the seventh book in the Lucien Caye Private Eye Series that began with New Orleans Rapacious. The read is available at Amazon.


Amazon Description:

SMOOTH gives 33 days in the life of New Orleans Private Eye Lucien Caye and his wife and sometimes partner Alizée in the autumn of 1952. The cases roll in: The repeated burglary of a wine distribution company; A missing person case from New York City; The systematic theft of farms in the semi-rural Florida Parishes across Lake Pontchartrain.

Alizée juggles private eye work with her songwriting career, writing a novel and modeling – she models stockings and underwear in ads for catalogs of top-line department stores. Modeling draws out her lustful, erotic nature, which she uses in her PI work.

Lucien catches the burglar in the first case but the case is not over. Across the lake he tries to build a case against the white collar gangster using his business and a shadowy government administration to misappropriate small farms from struggling farmers using the old tried-and-true crime of loansharking. As Lucien and Alizée close in on the loan shark and the missing person from New York, they are confronted by thugs with baseball bats and a murderer with a stiletto.

Lucien Caye became a private eye in 1947, after his second stint as a New Orleans Police Officer. He returned from WWII with a purple heart medal and silver star medal for gallantry, set up his office at the corner of Barracks and Dauphine Streets in the old French Quarter – office on the first floor with his apartment on the second floor of a two-story blond brick building with a black wrought-iron balcony wrapping around the second floor overlooking Barracks Street with Cabrini Park (neighbors called it Cabrini Playground) across the street.

Lucien built his PI resume catching Public Enemy #1 Lou Jacoby and the elusive marriage swindler, solved intricate cases – the Magnolia Murders, the mystery of the Red Witch, tragic cases like the Gungirl Case, the Peeschwet, the Love Pirate, the tragic Tenderless Night Case, the Erotophobia mystery, a Dreamboat Gambol case, a Kissable Cleavage case and a case known as A Jelly of Intrigue, tracking down killers in a Hard Rain case and covering a Little Iréne Escapade. He caught a killer who was guilty of dust and sin. A lone wolf, Lucien romanced pretty women along the way, some who thought him a Cary Grant lookalike, while others claimed he favored Gregory Peck. A working relationship with NOPD helped Lucien, who in turned assisted his buddy Lieutenant Frenchy Capdeville solve a number of murder cases.

In 1950, Lucien’s life changed when a seven-year-old girl was dropped off at his building with a small suitcase which included her birth certificate in the name of Jeannie Marie Caye. The result of a brief affair before the war, Jeannie was raised by her mother until her mother did not want her anymore and dropped her off to be raised by her father who did not know she existed. One look into the little girl’s eyes and Lucien knew this little girl would be in his heart forever. He would do everything he could for her. He had no idea how he would be able to raise her, but he’d find a way. Gone were the carefree days and torrid bachelor nights. Lucien had a daughter to raise. Not long after, a young woman entered Lucien’s life, a doe-eyed, auburn haired beauty named Alizée and by 1951, Lucien was married with a young daughter.

The cases keep coming as Jeannie’s precocious nature emerges and Alizée initial shyness fades. A songwriter, Alizée’s songs are picked up by top performers – Lena Horne, Fats Domino, Doris Day, Dina Shore, Tony Bennett, Patti Page and Frank Sinatra. She decides to write a novel, becomes a lingerie model and a part time private eye, bringing her sharp mind to the Caye Detective Agency. Alizée’s erotic past and Lucien’s acceptance of her sexy nature spices up Lucien’s life.


SMFS Member Publishing News: The Last Request by Brandon Barrows

Today is publication day for for the digital version of The Last Request by Brandon Barrows. Published by Bloodhound Books, the read is now available in both digital and print formats at Amazon and other vendors.


Amazon Description:

Sixty million dollars. Five potential heirs. One house in remote rural Alaska. It’s a recipe for murder . . .

Summoned by letter, Holly Shaw and five of her cousins—virtual strangers to each other—have gathered at a grand house in the rugged wilds of Alaska. Equally unfamiliar to Holly is her great-aunt Lydia, who has called the family together and is dangling a massive inheritance before them. Her condition: they must remain in the house, with Lydia and her butler and caregiver, until she passes. Anyone not in residence at that time is out of the will, and their share of the money is split among the others. That night, everyone settles in. And the following day, the murders begin . . .

From Mustang Award finalist and 2022 Derringer Award nominee Brandon Barrows, this is a twisting, atmospheric mystery and an utterly compelling tale of guilt, greed, and temptation.