Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Sunday, January 29, 2023
SMFS list member James A. Hearn’s short story, Trip Among the Bluebonnets, is published today in Black Cat Weekly #74. Published by Wildside Press, the issue is available here in digital format.
Our 74th issue features an essay from Norman Spinrad, the sort of non-fiction feature I’d like to see more of here in the future. (In fact, we do have an interesting essay from Harlan Ellison coming up in an issue or two, too.) And I plan to resume running author interviews shortly as well.
This issue features an original story by Neil Plakcy, plus more recent tales by James A. Heart and Phyllis Ann Karr, plus classics by Norbert Davis, Ray Bradbury, Frank Belknap Long, and Edmond Hamilton. And no issue would be complete without a Hal Charles solve-it-yourself mystery.
Here’s this issue’s lineup:
Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure:
“Flaking Out in Wilton Manors,” by Neil Plakcy [Michael Bracken Presents short story]
“A Conundrum In Winter,” by Hal Charles [Solve-It-Yourself Mystery]
“Trip Among the Bluebonnets,” by James A. Hearn [short story]
“A Knotty Problem,” by Hal Meredith [short story]
“Dead Man’s Chest,” by Norbert Davis [novelet]
“An SF Manifesto,” by Norman Spinrad [essay]
Science Fiction & Fantasy:
“Two Days Out of Sludgepocket,” by Phyllis Ann Karr [short story]
“The Shape of Things,” by Ray Bradbury [short story]
“Galactic Heritage,” by Frank Belknap Long [short story]
“Regulations,” by Murray Leinster [short story]
“Transuranic,” by Edmond Hamilton [novelet]
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 #35 will take place April 28-30, 2023. Again this year, numerous SMFS list members are nominated in several categories. The full list of the 2022 Agatha Award nominees and more can be found here. The categories and nominated SMFS list members are:
Children's/ YA Mystery
Fleur Bradley for Daybreak on Raven Island (Viking Books for Young People).
Best Contemporary Novel
Annette Dashofy for Fatal Reunion: A Zoe Chambers Mystery (Level Best Books).
Best First Novel
M. A. (Mary) Monnin for Death in the Aegean: An Intrepid Traveler Mystery (Level Best Books).
Nina Wachsman for The Gallery of Beauties: A Venice Beauties Mystery (Level Best Books).
Best Short Story
Barb Goffman for the short story, Beauty and the Beyotch, in Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine #29.
Lisa Q. Mathews for the short story, Fly Me to the Morgue, in the anthology, Malice Domestic: Mystery Most Diabolical (Wildside Press).
Art Taylor for the short story, The Invisible Band, in the anthology, Edgar & Shamus Go Golden: Twelve Tales of Murder, Mystery, and Master Detection from the Golden Age of Mystery and Beyond (Down & Out Books). Read for free at his website.
In addition, the recently published book, Promophobia: Taking the Mystery Out of Promoting Crime Fiction, is nominated in the Best Non-Fiction category. Published by Sisters in Crime, it includes essays by numerous SMFS list members.
Saturday, January 28, 2023
Friday, January 27, 2023
Siblings Ben and Maisy find they have no one to turn to after witnessing a gruesome hit-and-run that shatters their innocence. Not their mother, a poor waitress with a spiraling heroin addiction—and certainly not her new boyfriend, a brutal, meth-smoking tow truck driver named Lou Holt. When Lou’s cover-up slowly turns their backyard into a makeshift cemetery, they devise plans to escape their chaotic home in the Santa Cruz Mountains, only to see their lives sink to even darker depths.
In this rural town buried deep under redwood needles and mountain fog, a dangerous cast of characters never seems too far away. There’s Cowboy, a fast-talking enabler of Lou’s petty schemes; and MacLeod, a pock-faced proprietor of an off-the-books wrecking yard who utilizes child labor to disassemble his stolen cars. But everything changes when Don Halbert—a persistent school administrator with a keen eye for trouble—starts advocating for Ben and Maisy’s welfare. The outcome will break your heart.
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
SMFS list member John M. Floyd’s short story, Melon CollieBaby, appears in the January 25, 2023, issue of the weekly newsletter, Texas Gardener’s Seeds. You can read it online for free here.
Twist Phelan’s short story, List of Contributors, appears in The Dark City Crime and Mystery Magazine: Volume 8, Issue 2, January 2023, issue. Published by The Dark City Magazine, the read is available at Amazon.
In this issue of The Dark City a father decides the fate of his troubled son, and a video store employee is seduced by his dark side.
In the world of crime novel fandom, a famous novelist is murdered and the clues embedded in a crime magazine's List of Contributors.
Finally, an addict seeks the end of the road, and a troubled young criminal deals with a bad case of nerves....
Welcome to the darker side of reality.
Welcome to The Dark City.
Gerald Elias’s short story, A Scarab for Normandy, appears in the anthology, Coolest American Stories 2023. Published by Coolest Stories Press earlier this month, the book is available in digital and print formats at Amazon and other vendors.
America’s most talented storytellers share their most interesting, engaging, unputdownable work in a collection made for story lovers.
Praised early on by numerous award-winning and bestselling authors, COOLEST AMERICAN STORIES 2023 is the second volume of the annual short story anthology whose guiding philosophy is that a collection of widely appealing short stories can make for common ground that could unite rather than divide Americans.
Toward this end, COOLEST AMERICAN STORIES 2023 features a previously uncollected heartbreaking story by Morgan Talty, author of the widely acclaimed Night of the Living Rez; a witty story about growing up fast by widely published crime writer Nikki Dolson; and a candid tale about motherhood in the wake of tragedy by T.E. Wilderson.
And since interesting storytelling―rather than a bunch of publishing credits―matters most to story-hungry readers, COOLEST AMERICAN STORIES 2023 also includes a page-turner about celebrity stalking written by brand new author Georgia Smith; a previously unpublished and sensual story about love versus the American Dream by up-and-coming author Patricia García Luján; and R.C. Goodwin's striking tale about a dying parent's wish―among others in this treasure trove of unputdownable, sharply written, sometimes comic, sometimes frightening, always suspenseful stories loaded with twists and turns.
Veronica Leigh’s short story, The Competition, appears in the recently released book, Night Terrors Vol. 24: Short Horror Stories Anthology. Published by Scare Street, the read is now available in digital and print formats at Amazon and other vendors.
Turn page after page of relentless terror…
An old piece of pottery holds an ancient evil within, until a man and his daughter unwittingly release it into the world. A private chauffeur picks up a very strange passenger, who reveals something terrifying lurking along the dark night roads, just out of sight. And justice hunts down a terrified man, when he discovers his ancestor may have committed a gruesome crime…
Scare Street is proud to present fourteen diabolical new tales in this bone-chilling collection. Each ghastly page unleashes a new nightmare, ripped from the depths of your psyche.
It’s almost as if this book has a mind of its own; a monstrous, disturbed mind, a mind full of dark dreams, and twisted nightmares.
It wants to make you shiver with fear. It longs to hear you scream.
And it knows exactly what scares you…
This volume features the following stories:
1. Twist the Lid by Gordon Grice
2. Arthur's Wish by Daniel Conyers
3. A Girl of Peculiar Taste by S. C. Vincent
4. Carved in Dreams by J. Anthony Hartley
5. Rough Waters by Corey Niles
6. Hellbender by Phil Keeling
7. High Beams by A. K. McCarthy
8. Ido by John Joseph Ryan
9. Hour of the Witch by Frederick Pangbourne
10. This Girl I Used to Know by Suki Litchfield
11. The Competition by Veronica Leigh
12. The Likeness of a Murderer by Simon Lee-Price
13. The Other Cassandra Went Insane by Shannon Frost Greenstein
14. The Child Thief by Ron Ripley and Kevin Saito
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Today is publication day for SMFS list member Edith Maxwell’s new book, Four Leaf Cleaver: A Country Store Mystery. Writing as Maddie Day, the book is published by Kensington Books. The book is available in print, audio, and digital formats, from Amazon and other vendors. This is the eleventh book in the series that began with Flipped For Murder.
The eleventh installment in Maddie Day’s deliciously popular Country Store cozy mysteries . . . It’s Saint Patrick’s Day in South Lick, Indiana, but a holiday cooking competition at Robbie Jordan’s country store and restaurant Pans ’N Pancakes is put on the back-burner when a killer strikes.
There’s no mistaking Saint Patrick’s Day at Pans ’N Pancakes. Robbie may only be Irish by marriage to Abe O’Neill, but the shelves of vintage cookware in her southern Indiana store are draped with glittery shamrocks and Kelly-green garlands and her restaurant is serving shepherd’s pie and Guinness Beer brownies. The big event, however, is a televised cooking competition to be filmed on site.
Unfortunately, someone’s luck has run out. Before the cameras start rolling, tough-as-nails producer Tara O’Hara Moore is found upstairs in her B&B room, bludgeoned apparently by the heavy hilt of a cleaver left by her side. Now, not only does Robbie have a store full of festive decorations, she’s got a store full of suspects . . .
Today is publication day for three SMFS list members who have short stories in Dark Yonder: Issue 1. Published by Thalia Press, the read is available in digital and print formats at Amazon. The SMFS list members in the read are:
Craig Faustus Buck with "Home Game."
Mike McHone with "Perforation of a Moment."
P.M. Raymond with "The Entitled Life and Untimely Death of King Booker."
Don’t miss out on Issue 1 of DARK YONDER, a new literary journal that’s pushing the boundaries of neo noir. Issue 1 includes a killer cocktail recipe, commentary by editors and crime fiction authors Eryk Pruitt and Katy Munger, plus the best of dark fiction today:
The Twenty-One Foot Rule by Nick Mamatas
Home Game by Craig Faustus Buck
Beni by Gregg Williard
The Worst Game of Baseball Ever Played by Adam Breckenridge
Perforation of a Moment by Mike McHone
Dorothy by Anna Kristiansen
Or Not to Be by Johnny Shaw
The Entitled Life and Untimely Death of King Booker by P.M. Raymond
Verna Maxell by Dana King
A Harvest of Malice by Matt McHugh
This is not your grandfather’s noir. Forget middle-aged alcoholics in bad jackets roaming the mean streets of L.A. in search of redemption and a bonus roll in the hay with a duplicitous dame. The debut issue of DARK YONDER takes a look at the dark side of modern life, including sibling rivalry, the shelf life of marriage, our culture of greed, violence as entertainment, child soldiers, obsessive love gone wrong, and so much more.
Monday, January 23, 2023
SMFS list member M. E. Proctor’s short story, Key Ring, has been published on the Roi Fainéant website. You can read the tale for free here.
Sunday, January 22, 2023
SMFS list member Diana Deverell’s short story, In Plain Sight, is published today in Black Cat Weekly #73. Published by Wildside Press, the issue is available here in digital format.
Our 73rd issue features an original mystery story by Laird Long (courtesy of Acquiring Editor Michael Bracken) plus great modern tales from Diana Deverell (courtesy of Acquiring Editor Barb Goffman), Nicole Givens Kurtz (courtesy of Acquiring Editor Cynthia Ward), and Richard Wilson (a rare short story that only appeared in a limited edition chapbook). Plus classics from Ray Bradbury, Murray Leinster, Carolyn Wells, George O. Smith, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Quite a list of contributors!
Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure:
“Murder On My Mind,” by Laird Long [Michael Bracken Presents short story]
“The Play’s the Thing,” Hal Charles [Solve-It-Yourself Mystery]
“In Plain Sight,” by Diana Deverell [Barb Goffman Presents short story]
The Case of Oscar Slater, by Arthur Conan Doyle [novel]
Where’s Emily, by Carolyn Wells [Fleming Stone series, novel]
Science Fiction & Fantasy:
“The Pluviophile,” by Nicole Givens Kurtz [Cynthia Ward Presents novelet]
“A Rat for a Friend,” by Richard Wilson [short story]
“Referent,” by Ray Bradbury [short story]
“The Seven Temporary Moons,” by Murray Leinster [novelet]
Hellflower, by George O. Smith [novel]
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Numerous SMFS list members have short stories in the new book, Hook, Line, and Sinker: The Seventh Guppy Anthology. Published by Wolf's Echo Press, the read is available in digital and print formats from Amazon and other vendors. The SMFS list members in the book are:
Sandra Benson with “Manual for Success.”
Lida Bushloper with “Senior Discount.”
Kait Carson with “Gutted, Filleted, and Fried”
Susan Daly with “The Americanization of Jack MacKenzie.”
Mary Dutta with “The Grift of the Magi.”
Kate Fellowes with “The Buddy System.”
Vinnie Hansen with “Perfect Partner.”
Ann Michelle Harris with “Changeling.”
Kim Keeline with “Occupied With Death.”
Jane Limprecht with “Net Profit and Loss.”
Sally Milliken with “Trailblazer.”
M.A. Monnin with “Just Another Shot in the Dark.”
Merrilee Robson with “The Ass-In.”
KM Rockwood with “Dear Lathea.”
Lisa Anne Rothstein with “Catch and Release.”
Steve Shrott with “Crime and Convenience.”
Frances Stratford with “Wise Enough to Play the Fool.”
Shannon Taft with “Research.”
Deep inside, in that place you hide from the world, have you ever considered how you would carry off a great con? Or maybe secretly plotted revenge for falling prey to a grifter, liar, or cheat? As these twenty-three authors of devious plot twists show, whether it’s running a con or extracting revenge, it doesn’t always go the way you expected. In this seventh anthology of short stories from the 1,100 - member Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime, the stakes are high: money, power, love, and life itself. The stories range from Tudor England to tomorrow’s headline after another fish takes the bait. Hook, line, and Sinker.
Twenty-three original tales of grifters, con artists, and their marks. The seventh anthology of the Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Inc.
The nominees for 2023 Edgar Awards, so named to honor Edgar Allen Poe, have been announced by the Mystery Writers of America. Winners will be announced on April 27, 2023, as noted on the MWA website.
SMFS list member William Burton McCormick is nominated in the Best Short Story category for his short story, Locked-In. The tale was published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine: January/February 2022 issue.
SMFS list member Emilya Naymark is nominated in The G. P. Putnam’s Sons Sue Grafton Memorial Award category for her book, Behind the Lie. The read was published last February by Crooked Lane Books.
Two SMFS list members are up for the 2023 Lefty Awards. Both members are nominated in the Best Mystery Novel Category. Winners will be announced Saturday evening, March 18, 2023, as noted on the Left Coast Crime #33 website. The nominated SMFS members and their books are:
James L’Etoile for Dead Drop (published by Level Best Books).
Gigi Pandian for Under Lock & Skeleton Key (published by Minotaur Books).
Friday, January 20, 2023
Several SMFS list members are published in Crimeucopia:
We'll Be Right Back - After This!. Published by Murderous
Ink Press, the read is available in digital and print formats at Amazon
and other vendors. SMFS list members in the read are:
Glen Bush with “Cold Eyes, Cold Blood.”
Eve Fisher with "Cruel as the Grave."
Jim Guigli with “Blood on the Stairs.”
Edward Lodi with “Under the Table.”
Cate Moyle with “A Jeweled Anniversary.”
Michele Bazan Reed with “The Devil’s Accountant.”
With fiction from Jim Guigli, Glen Bush, Edward Lodi, Cate Moyle, Jay Andrew Connor, Bob Ritchie, Michele Bazan Reed, Eve Fisher, Michael Wiley, Joan Hall Hovey, J. T. Seate and Madeleine McDonald.
This is the first of several ‘Free 4 All’ collections that were supposed to be themeless. However, with the number of submissions that came in, it seems that this could be called an Angels & Devils collection, mixing PI & Police alongside tales from the bad guys. Mind you, that’s not to say that all the PIs & Police are Good Guys – though hopefully this collection is not too NOIR for some.
Followers of the somewhat bent and twisted Crimeucopia path will know that although we don’t deal with flash fiction as a rule, it is a rule that we have sometimes broken. And let’s face it, if you cannot break your own rules now and again, whose rules can you break?
Oh, wait, isn’t that the basis of the crime fiction genre?
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.
Thursday, January 19, 2023
SMFS list member Jim Winter’s new book, The Dogs of Beaumont Heights, was published earlier this week by Down & Out Books. This is the second thriller in the series that began with Holland Bay. The read is available in digital and print formats at the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors.
Fentanyl. The latest scourge of Monticello's street. A detective, a street-level dealer, and an ambitious police official, it will weave its way through their lives and change their fates.
For Detective Jessica Branson, it makes the house she can't afford unlivable and unrentable. When her tenants overdose, one fatally, her career teeters toward a crash.
For Marcus Lincoln, it's the latest product, his ticket to the top of the Game as he moves up in the gang that still rules the city's Holland Bay neighborhood. But one man stands in his way, and Linc holds a grudge. Between making his anger known and building his new empire, he finds himself on the bad side of the city's drug lord.
For Derek Roberts, the drug becomes a major headache and a political football as he navigates between two ambitious candidates for mayor. But it's also an opportunity to reach one of his longtime goals: Getting rid of Jessica Branson.
An imprisoned drug boss, a scheming council member, and a former Amish man running a junkyard complicate matters. But it all ties together when a maligned breed of dog kills a little girl in the neighborhood of Beaumont Heights.
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Today is publication day for SMFS list member Larry D. Sweazy’s new short story collection, A Cow Hunter's Lament and Other Stories. Published by Five Star, the read of short stories and one novella is available at Amazon and other vendors.
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Monday, January 16, 2023
SMFS list member Dan Castro’s short story, The Optimal
Solution, appears in the January 4, 2023, issue of the weekly newsletter, Texas
Gardener’s Seeds. You can read it online for free here.
Sunday, January 15, 2023
SMFS list member Shari Held’s short story, The Healing Garden, appears in the January 11, 2023, issue of the weekly newsletter, Texas Gardener’s Seeds. You can read it online for free here.