Thursday, March 30, 2023

SMFS Member Publishing News: The Codicil by Shannon Taft


SMFS list member Shannon Taft’s short story, The Codicilm appears in the new anthology, Fantastic Detectives. Published earlier this week in print format, the digital version drops tomorrow. Published by Tannhauser Press, the read is available at Amazon.


Amazon Description:

Magic & Murder

From worlds like our own, except for a touch of magic or the supernatural, to completely unique fantasy realms, there will always be those who use their powers for murder and mayhem.

Come meet the stubborn detectives who simply won’t let those crimes go unsolved…

• A Duelist-at-Law intervenes in the matter of a deadly affair of honor.

• A private detective who takes on ghosts for clients…provided their estate can pay him.

• A poet attempts to avert a man’s unjust execution…using strategically applied haiku.

• A rabbi wizard has a Hell of a hard time tracking down an undead murderer.

• An albino nun investigates a murder that could only have been committed by an angel.

• A knight-mage atones for her past sins by tracking down the source of an evil blood curse.

• After wizards battle…someone has to clean up the mess.

Plus even more stories from some of the finest crime and fantasy writers in the field!

Contributors include: Reed Bonadonna, Gregg Chamberlain, Robert Finegold, David Keener, Emma Melville, Jeff Patterson, Maria Prokopyeva, Daniel Robichaud, Donna Royston, Shannon Taft, David Tatum, Martin Wilsey, and Austin Worley.

SMFS Member Publishing News: It Was Our Song by Nikki Knight


SMFS list member Nikki Knight’s short story, It Was Our Song, was recently published in the anthology, The Little Shop of Murders. Subtitled, Collected Cozy Mysteries, the read is currently available in print from Amazon and other vendors. The digital version comes out April 1st. 


Amazon Description:

Book shops, boutiques and small businesses are the lifeblood of small towns but what secrets lie behind those pretty display windows and in the alleyways behind these charming streets?

Step inside for a personal retail experience like no other!

‘The Little Shop of Murders’ collects together fifteen superb cozy mysteries written by some of the finest authors in the genre.

All author and publisher profits from the sale of this book go to children’s charities, helping those most in need.


Stories include:

Don’t Toy with Me by Diane Kelly

A Man With No Imagination by Millie Ravensworth

The Forget-Me-Not Antiques Mystery by Victoria Tait

It Was Our Song by Nikki Knight

Always and Furever by Eryn Scott

Wild Irish Dreams by Lise McClendon

Architect of a Murder by Carlene O’Connor

Blooms and Blackmail by London Lovett

Secondhand Murder by J. New

The Lady of the House by Flora McGowan

Requiem for a Violin by Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

Nightly Nuisance by Kathryn Mykel

The Gift of Dragons by ACF Bookens

Nowhere to Hide by Debbie Young

Murder in the Bookshop by Rachel McLean

SMFS Member Publishing News: Theft at the Rest Stop by John M. Floyd

SMFS list member John M. Floyd’s mini-mystery short story, Theft at the Rest Stop, appears in the current issue of Woman's World. The April 3rd issue is available in grocery stores, newsstands, and at Woman’s World.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Saturday, March 25, 2023

SMFS Member Publishing News: Hit and Run by Mary Jo Robertiello


SMFS list member Mary Jo Robertiello’s mystery short story, Hit and Run, was published today at Kings River Life Magazine. You can read the piece for free online here.

SMFS Member Publishing News: Death by Natural Causes: Creating an African Cozy Short Story by Merrilee Robson


SMFS list member Merrilee Robson’s essay, Death by Natural Causes: Creating an African Cozy Short Story, appears in the recently released, Mystery Readers Journal: Mysteries Set in Africa, Volume 39, No. 1, Spring 2023. Published by Mystery Readers International, the read is available in print and pdf formats on the website.


Website Issue Description:

Mysteries Set in Africa

Volume 39, No. 1, Spring 2023

Buy this back issue! Available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.



  • Eugene P.A. Schleh: The Mysteries of Africa by Aubrey Nye Hamilton
  • Agatha in Africa by Kate Derie
  • Cape Town Crime Fiction by Eric Beetner
  • John V. C. Wyllie and Dr. Samuel Quarshie by Aubrey Nye Hamilton


  • Taking My Imagination on Safari by Annamaria Alfieri
  • From Scandi Crime to Sandy Crime by Parker Bilal
  • I Was Already a Spy, I Might as Well Write About It by Bryan Christy
  • Rift — A Novel About a Journey That Is Still on My Mind by Liza Cody
  • Green Snake in Green Grass by Kathy Curnow
  • Nkisi by Russell Hill
  • A Brutal Love Letter by Akbar Hussain
  • Memories of my Father’s Bookshelf by Sylva Nze Ifedigbo
  • Corruption in Kenya—The Mystery Is in the Details by Gerald Everett Jones
  • Writing on the Continent of Light by Deon Meyer
  • A Trip to Egypt by Erica Ruth Neubauer
  • My Mystery Writing Life by Stella Oni
  • Le Petit Senegal by Paul R. Paradise
  • Adventure and Romance in North Africa by Neil S. Plakcy
  • From Your Armchair to the Gulf of Guinea: The Case for the African Mystery by Kwei Quartey
  • Murder in Africa by Bryony Rheam
  • Death by Natural Causes: Creating an African Cozy Short Story by Merrilee Robson
  • Vacation, Vacation, Vacation by Wendall Thomas
  • Serious Research in Africa by Michael Stanley (Stanley Trollip)
  • Africa: The Most Interesting Place I’ve Never Been by N. S. Wikarski


  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Eric Beetner, Aubrey Nye Hamilton, Sandie Herron, Kathy Boone Reel, L.J. Roberts, Craig Sisterson, and Lucinda Surber
  • Children’s Hour: African Mysteries by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • In Short: Africa by Marv Lachman
  • From the Editor’s Desk by Janet A. Rudolph

SMFS Member Publishing News: A Reasonable Motive by Brandon Barrows

SMFS list member Brandon Barrows’ short story, A Reasonable Motive, appears in the recently released anthology, JOURN-E: The Journal of Imaginative Literature, Vol. 2, No. 1. The read is available in pringt format at Lulu.Com.


Website Description:

This is the Vernal Equinox (20 March) 2023 issue of the semi-annual JOURN-E: THE JOURNAL OF IMAGINATIVE LITERATUE. Each issue offers a compendium of Speculative Literature and Illustration across the several genres of the High Imagination: Adventure, Detection & Mystery, Fantasy, Horror & the Supernatural, and Science Fiction.

Works by contemporary authors, poets, essayists, reviewers, and illustrators, with some works by "classic" artists in the same modes of expression are included.

This is Whole #3 of this journal.

SMFS Members Published in Tales of Fear, Superstition, and Doom


Several SMFS list members have short stories in the recently released anthology, Tales of Fear, Superstition, and Doom. Published by Redwood Press, the book is available in digital format at Amazon. The SMFS list members in the read are:


Brandon Barrows with "Please Come Out."


Eddie Generous with "Canis Daemonium."


Veronica Leigh with "Wabash Valley Devil."


Amazon Description:

Twenty-seven tales of horror and darkness by a diverse group of writers who conjure up demons, cults, denizens of the deep, sorcery and magic, insanity, lost technology, ghosts, ancient gods, monsters both supernatural and all too human as well as other terrors against which the only weapons are often poorly laid plans, vain hopes, and even the power of love or hate. 

A river of superstition flows through this book. Many stories run deep through its waters while others only lightly skim the surface or branch away toward other themes. If you like variety in your dark fiction then you'll enjoy this book. 

So What's Inside?


Thursday’s Child by Sipora Coffelt

A Daronite Fence by Ron Fein

The Art of Shui Feng by Chris Hewitt

Solitaire in a Haunted Tent by Pedro Iniguez

Of the Darkness on the Rails by John Wolf

Moonspeech by Marisca Pichette (poem)

Don’t Look Back by Sarah Sigfried

Before the EMP by Jeanne Lyet Gassman

Please Come Out by Brandon Barrows

An Auspicious Birthday by Jennifer Jeanne McArdle

The Cult of El Tio by Kurt Newton (poem)

The Forger’s Masterpiece by Mark Mellon

Blood Witch on the Khartoum Train by George S. Walker

Dryad Harvest by M. Legree

Exorcism and Other Requests by John Walters

Kiss the Child by Zach Ellenberger

The Call of Dark Water by Emmie Christie

The Knocked-Up Nun and her Peculiar Hen by Angelique Fawns

Mephistopheles by Thomas Fischer (poem)

Canis Daemonium by Eddie Generous

Needle by Lauren Jane Barnett

We Shadow Forth by Amanda Cecelia Lang

When I Start Leaving These By The Tree … by Juleigh Howard-Hobson (poem)

Shain and Cinnastasia by David Rose

Mirror Mirror by Pauline Yates

Justice Turns the Balance Scales by Elizabeth Cobbe

Wabash Valley Devil by Veronica Leigh

The Wild Hunt by Juleigh Howard-Hobson (poem)

Guardians of the Grünwald by Henry Herz

Superstition by Ann van de Bergh

Miracle Water by David Verdugo

The Skipper by Laura J. Campbell

Friday, March 24, 2023

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

SMFS Members Published in Honor (Thrill Ride - The Magazine #1)

Today is publication day for the first issue of Thrill Ride-The Magazine. The first issue, Honor, includes short stories by five of our members. 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:


Jesse Bethea with "Your Lantern Is Warm."

Publisher and Editor M. L. Buchman with "Fallen Sky." 

C. Dan Castro with "T is for Titus."

Ed Teja with "Major Rat."

Laura Ware with "The Jerusalem Plot."


Amazon Description:

12 Tales of Honor

It comes in many forms: military, political, among thieves, between friends, and so much more.

Come read an amazing collection of thriller and action-adventure stories by the best and a few of the newest voices. Travel from Ancient Israel to the near future, from the American Revolution to the world of hackers, and face death and danger at every turn.

Hang onto your seat and take the plunge!

SMFS Member Publishing News: The Raven Thief: A Secret Staircase Mystery by Gigi Pandian


Today is publication day for The Raven Thief: A Secret Staircase Mystery by Gigi Pandian. This is the second book in the series that began with Under Lock & Skeleton Key: A Secret Staircase Mystery. Published by Minotaur Books, the read is available in audio, digital, and print formats at the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors.


Publisher Description:

Multiple award-winning author Gigi Pandian is one of the best locked room mystery writers working today. Her newest heroine, Tempest Raj, returns in The Raven Thief, where sliding bookcases, trick tables, and hidden reading nooks hide something much more sinister than the Secret Staircase Construction crew ever imagined.

One murder. Four impossibilities. A fake séance hides a very real crime.

Secret Staircase Construction just finished their first project with Tempest Raj officially a part of the team—a classic mystery novel-themed home interior. Their client is now ready to celebrate her new life without her cheating ex-husband, famous mystery author Corbin Colt. First up, a party, and Tempest and Grandpa Ash are invited to the exclusive mock séance to remove any trace of Corbin from the property—for good. It's all lighthearted fun until Corbin's dead body crashes the party.

The only possible suspects are the eight people around the séance table—a circle of clasped hands that wasn't broken. Suspicion quickly falls on Grandpa Ash, the only one with actual blood on him. To prove her beloved grandfather’s innocence, Tempest must figure out what really happened—and how—or Ash will be cooking his delectable Indian and Scottish creations nevermore.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

SMFS Members are 2023 International Thriller Award Finalists


The 2023 International Thriller Award Finalists in seven categories have been announced. Again this year, SMFS list members are represented in the “Best Short Story” category. Those members are:


Barb Goffman for “The Gift.” (Land of 10,000 Thrills: Bouchercon Anthology 2022, Down & Out Books)


Smita Harish Jain for "Publish or Perish.” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine: September/October 2022)


Josh Pachter’s translation of Dominique Biebau's short story, "Russian for Beginners." (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine: March/April 2022)


Anna Scotti for "Schrödinger, Cat" (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine: March/April 2022)


Winners will be announced at ThrillerFest XVIII on Saturday, June 3rd, in New York City. For more information, including the full list of all the finalists this year, go to the International Thriller Writers website.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

SMFS Member Podcast News: Peril in Pasadena by Edith Maxwell


The current AHMM podcast features SMFS list member Edith Maxwell's short story, Peril in Pasadena.  The story originally appeared in the September/October 2022 issue of AHMM. The podcast is available here for free.


Website Episode Description:

Edith Maxwell, who also writes under the name Maddie Day, is the Agatha-winning author of the Quaker Midwife Mysteries. Here, she reads her story "Peril in Pasadena" (AHMM Sept/Oct 2022), which features 1920s private eyes Dorothy Henderson and Ruth Skinner in a case involving a woman astronomer.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

SMFS Member Publishing News: The Refusal Camp: Stories by James R. Benn

Today is publication day for SMFS list member James R. Benn’s new book, The Refusal Camp: Stories. Published by Soho Crime, the short story collection is available in audio, digital, and print formats from the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors.


Publisher Description:

These dazzling stories show a crime fiction veteran at the height of his career.

In his first-ever collection, the award-winning author of the Billy Boyle World War II mysteries presents an eclectic mix of new and previously published mystery stories rife with historical detail and riveting wartime storytelling.

“The Horse Chestnut Tree” explores betrayal and murder during the American Revolution. In the speculative work “Glass,” an atomic supercollider and the breakdown of the time-space continuum change the lives of two cousins devoured by greed. “Vengeance Weapon,” a historical thriller about an enslaved Jewish laborer working at the Dora concentration camp, looks at how far someone will go to get revenge. And for his Billy Boyle fans, Benn delivers “Irish Tommy,” a police procedural set in 1944 Boston featuring Billy’s father and uncle.

Full of terror, action, amusement, and bliss, The Refusal Camp is a must-have collection from a crime fiction veteran at the height of his career.

Monday, March 13, 2023

SMFS Member Publishing News: Shade Tree Mechanic by Hugh Lessig

SMFS list member Hugh Lessig’s short story, Shade Tree Mechanic, was published yesterday in Black Cat Weekly #80. Published by Wildside Press, the issue is available here in digital format.


Website Description:

Our 80th issue has some great tales for you, starting with an original mystery by Hugh Lessit (thanks to Acquiring Editor Michael Bracken) and a great reprint by Jim Thomsen (thanks to Acquiring Editor Barb Goffman). Plus we have a pair of detective novels, the first featuring New York-based private investigator Nick Carter, and the second another original Hardy Boys mystery. If you read the later editions, you will be shocked to find how much was changed from the originals. These are not the watered-down Hardy Boys most of us read as kids. Give it a read.

On the science fiction and fantasy side, we have a Frostflower & Thorn tale by Phyllis Ann Karr, as she brings her famous duo to a world created by M. Coleman collaboration with Easton. Great fun. Plus classic SF by Mike Curry, Robert Silverberg, Robert F. Young, and Murray Leinster.


Here’s this issue’s complete lineup:


Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure:

“The Shade Tree Mechanic” by Hugh Lessig [Michael Bracken Presents short story]

“Clear as Glass” by Hal Charles [Solve-It-Yourself Mystery]

“The Ride Home,” by Jim Thomsen [Barb Goffman Presents short story]

The Little Glass Vial, by Nicholas Carter [novel]

The Tower Treasure, by Franklin W. Dixon [novel]


Science Fiction & Fantasy:

“A Glassmaker’s Courage,” by Phyllis Ann Karr and M. Coleman Easton [short story]

“Metamorphosis,” by Mike Curry [short story]

“Come Into My Brain!” by Robert Silverberg [short story]

“Bbruggil’s Bride,” by Robert F. Young [short story]

The Gadget Had A Ghost, by Murray Leinster [novella]

SMFS Member Publishing News: Cat Scarf Advice by Joan Leotta

SMFS list member Joan Leotta’s short story, Cat Scarf Advice, appears online today at Spillwords.Com. You can read it here for free.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Thursday, March 9, 2023

SMFS Member Publishing News: Reciprocity by Cate Moyle


SMFS list member Cate Moyle’s short story, Reciprocity, appears in the recently released, Bang!: an anthology of modern noir fiction. Published by Head Shot Press, the book is available at the publisher and Amazon.


Publisher Description: 


the boulevard 

of broken dreams


In this anthology of twenty-two crime stories there are crooks and crooked cops, lost and missing persons, those running and those hiding, femme fatales, avocados, downbeat PIs, deadbeat insurance investigators, hotel detectives and unsavory gangs, those doing wrong and those done wrong by, fated lovers and failed robberies; even Inspector Maigret at the infamous château in Roissy. Why not take a shot?


The table of contents is as follows:



Out of Town – Tim Lees

Salamander – Douglas Thompson

Savour Life – Jamey Gallagher

Time To Say Goodbye – Roxanne Dent

Avocado Noir – Charles West

The Also-Rans – Benedict J Jones

A Stretch of Ground – Grant Tracey





Payday – Saira Viola

Slap Happy – Andrew Humphrey

The Last Best Thing – Mia Dalia

Reciprocity – Cate Moyle

Shall We Not Revenge – Gary Fry

Blow Jobs and the Meaning of Noir – Maxim Jakubowski

Going Clean – Gabriel Heller






Film Noir – Yvette Viets Flaten

Neon Graveyard – Melissa Pleckham

Fifty Shades of Maigret – Rhys Hughes

Angel Wings – Jenean McBrearty

Slimeball – Leif Hanson

The First Suspect – Brian Howell

The Liao Women – Song Gao Lei

Highway 29 – Mike O’Driscoll


Purchase “Bang!” in our store.

SMFS Members Published in Trouble in Tucson: A Left Coast Crime Anthology


SMFS list members are published in the Trouble in Tucson: A Left Coast Crime Anthology. The read is available in print from Amazon. The members in the book are:


Cynthia Sabelhaus with “High Times in Javelina Junction.”


Elena E. Smith with “One Night at Fred’s.”


Amazon Description:

Have a little murder with a side of castor beans. Perhaps some ghostly mischief is more to your liking. Trouble in Tucson is a collection of stories to make you smile or ponder the more serious side of life.

Authors / Contributors: 

















Monday, March 6, 2023

SMFS Members Published in Reckless in Texas: Metroplex Mysteries II

Following up on their success with the Malice in Dallas anthology, The Sisters in Crime North Dallas Chapter has released, Reckless in Texas: Metroplex Mysteries II. The book was edited by Short Mystery Fiction Society member Barb Goffman.  The introduction was written by SMFS list member John Floyd. Currently available in print format from Amazon with the digital version coming out on the 15th, the book features short stories by several SMFS list members. Those members are:


Karen Harrington with "The Mysterious Disappearance of Jason Whetstone."


Shannon Taft with "Monster.”


Mark Thielman with "Steer Clear."


Amazon Description:

There’s just something about Texas … May you have as much fun with these ten tales of murder and deception as I did, and may you remember them long afterward. As Carl Sandberg said, “Texas is a blend of valor and swagger.” So are these stories.

—from the Foreword by JOHN M. FLOYD

A Perfect Gift For Mystery Lovers!

Welcome to the second anthology by the chapter members of Sisters In Crime North Dallas. The city of Dallas and surrounding locales offer great fodder for mystery writers—and readers. These inspire the stories contained in Reckless in Texas: Metroplex Mysteries Volume II.

MONSTER, by Shannon Taft


TRACTION, by Terry Shepherd



STOOD UP, by Dänna Wilberg

STEER CLEAR, by Mark Thielman


ROAD RAGE, by Pam McWilliams


BARB GOFFMAN, who edited this anthology, is a short story writer and freelance crime-fiction editor. She’s won the Agatha Award (twice), as well as the Macavity Award, Silver Falchion Award, and Readers Award given by Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. She’s been nominated for major crime-writing awards thirty-seven times, including seventeen Agatha nominations (a category record), and multiple nominations for the Anthony, Macavity, and Derringer awards. Novels and stories she’s edited have won the Agatha, Derringer, and EQMM Readers Award and have been nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, Derringer, Macavity, and Shamus awards. In 2020, Crime Travel, a time-travel mystery anthology Barb edited, was nominated for the Anthony. She blogs at Learn more at

Saturday, March 4, 2023

SMFS Member Publishing News: Disappearance of a Serial Spouse by N. M. Cedeño


SMFS list member N. M. Cedeño’s short story, Disappearance of a Serial Spouse, is published today in Black Cat Weekly #79. Published by Wildside Press, the issue is available here in digital format.


Website Description:

Our 79th issue features a pair of original mysteries by N.M. Cedeño (thanks to Acquiring Editor Michael Bracken) and Bryon Quertermous (thanks to Acquiring Editor Barb Goffman). Cedeño is no stranger to BCW readers, having already appeared in our pages twice before. Hopefully Bryon Quertermous will match that hat trick, too. 

Rounding out the mystery section are a pair of novels: Francis Beeding’s The House of Doctor Edwardes (filmed by Alfred Hitchcock as Spellbound) and The House on the Cliff, by Franklin W. Dixon, which you may recognize as the very first Hardy Boys book. If you grew up reading the modern revisions of the original Hardy Boys series (which began in 1927), you’re in for a shock: these brothers are tougher, edgier, and face real peril. They were definitely watered down beginning in the 1950s. And often the titles were the only things that remained from the original stories. 

And, of course, no issue would be complete without a solve-it-yourself puzzler from Hal Charles (the writing team of Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet). 

In the science fiction & fantasy section, Phyllis Ann Karr continues the adventures of her legendary fantasy duo, Frostflower and Thorn, in “Night of the Short Knives.” Don’t skip her Afterword about the story; it’s fascinating. Plus we have tales by Philip José Farmer, a rare science fiction foray by mystery author Wenzell Brown, and tales by Oliver Saari and George O. Smith. Great stuff.


Here’s the lineup: 

Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure:

“Disappearance of a Serial Spouse,” by N.M. Cedeño [Michael Bracken Presents short story]

“An Impossible Theft,” by Hal Charles [Solve-It-Yourself Mystery]

“Visiting Artist,” by Bryon Quertermous [Barb Goffman Presents short story]

The House of Doctor Edwardes, by Francis Beeding [novel]

The House on the Cliff, by Franklin W. Dixon [novel, Hardy Boys #1] 


Science Fiction & Fantasy:

“Night of the Short Knives,” by Phyllis Ann Karr [short story, Frostflower & Thorn]

Daughter,” by Philip José Farmer [short story]

“Murderer’s Chain,” by Wenzell Brown [short story]

“Moon Dust,” by Oliver Saari [short story]

“Bombs Awry,” by George O. Smith [novella]