Sunday, June 30, 2024

SMFS Member Publishing News: One Infant Girl by Abe Margel

SMFS list member Abe Margel’s short story, One Infant Girl, was published at Freedom Fiction Journal. You can read the story online for free here.

SMFS Member Publishing News: What Were the Chances by Gregory Meece

SMFS list member Gregory Meece’s short story, What Were the Chances, was published today at Fabula Argentea. Bristol Noir. You can read it online for free here.

SMFS Members Published in Black Cat Weekly #148

SMFS list members are published in Black Cat Weekly #148. Published by Wildside Press, the issue is available here in digital format. The list members in the issue are:


 Greg Herren with “Housecleaning.”


R.T. Lawton with “Leonardo.”



Publisher Description:

This issue, we have original mysteries by Christina Hoag and Greg Herren (both courtesy of Acquiring Editor Michael Bracken), plus a crime tale by Greg Herren (courtesy of Acquiring Editor Barb Goffman). Our mystery novel is Annihilation by classic American mystery novelist Isabel Ostrander, whose detective fiction was influential in the early 20th century. Of course, there’s a solve-it-yourself puzzler by Hal Charles, too!

   On the science fiction and fantasy front, we have a real treat—Phyllis Ann Karr has been going through her files and found the previously unpublished short-story version of her novel Wildraith’s Last Battle for us. Plus, we have classics by David Mason, Cordwainer Smith, and Allen K. Lang. Our science-fantasy novel is Lin Carter’s sword-and-planet tale, Under the Green Star (the first of the Green Star series, very much in the Edgar Rice Burroughs tradition).

   Here’s the complete lineup—


Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure:

  • “Travis and Wilbur,” by Christina Hoag [Michael Bracken Presents short story]
  • “The Antique Caravan Caper,” Hal Charles [Solve-It-Yourself Mystery]
  • “Housecleaning,” by Greg Herren [Barb Goffman Presents short story]
  • “Leonardo,” by R.T. Lawton [Michael Bracken Presents short story]
  • Annihilation, by Isabel Ostrander [novel]


Science Fiction & Fantasy:

  • “Wildraith’s Last Battle,” by Phyllis Ann Karr [short story]
  • “Farewell Message,” by David Mason [short story]
  • “Box-Garden,” by Allen K. Lang [short story]
  • “Scanners Live in Vain,” by Cordwainer Smith [short story]
  • Under the Green Star, by Lin Carter [novel]

SMFS Members Published in Pulphouse Fiction Magazine: Issue 30

SMFS members are published in the recently released, Pulphouse Fiction Magazine: Issue 30. Published by WMG Publishing, the read is available from the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors. The SMFS list members in the issue are:



Robert Jeschonek with “The Realm That Didn't Suck.”


David H. Hendrickson with “Little Blue Fuzzy.”


O’Neil De Noux with “The Bonnie and Clyde Caper.”   


Annie Reed with “Throw the Zombie From the Train.”


J. Steven York with “Minions at Work: Loss Leader.”


Publisher Description:


A three-time Hugo Award nominated magazine, this issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine offers up ten 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.

“The Final Fall” by Joe Cron                          
“The Ab” by Mike Zimmerman                      
“Rubber Duck” by Adam-Troy Castro            
“Throw the Zombie From the Train” by Annie Reed                        
“The Bonnie and Clyde Caper” by O’Neil De Noux              
“Confessional” by Rob Vagle                        
“Little Blue Fuzzy” by David H. Hendrickson
“Guarding the Bone Chalice” by Ezekiel James Boston
“The Realm that Didn’t Suck” by Robert Jeschonek
“The Tower” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Minions at Work: Loss Leader” by J. Steven York

Saturday, June 29, 2024

SMFS Members Published in Mystery Magazine: July 2024

SMFS list members are published in the Mystery Magazine: July 2024 issue. The read is available at the publisher and at Amazon. The SMFS list members that reported their presence in the issue are:


Michael Bracken with “Cocaine Cowboy.”


Ed Teja with “A Preference For Shadows.”


Amazon Description:

At the cutting edge of crime fiction, Mystery 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 

In our cover feature, “Cocaine Cowboy” by Michael Bracken, a down-on-his-luck country singer is robbed after a gig, rescued by a bartender, and then finds himself involved with robbery, murder, and more.

“I’m Not Roger Whitley Simmons” by Arthur Davis: How does one get into contract killing, even if it is State and Federally sanctioned, and indeed initiated?

“The Dead Girl And The Rock” by Arwyn Sherman: A detective tries to solve the murder of a fae, despite her being considered a second class citizen. He pursues the investigation even when his coworkers encourage him to let it go.

“Lactose Intolerance” by Gerard J Waggett: The office break room becomes a murder scene.when Dot Barrows refuses to stop stealing a co-worker's food.

“The Black Scarf” by Cay Rademacher: A busy highway in Southern France, an empty rest area to wait out a menacing thunderstorm, a mysterious woman—though only for a few moments before the deluge starts.

“The Adventure Of Cecil Scumbleby” by Aggie Novak: Great Aunt Edna has been stabbed to death, leaving behind a tremendous fortune. A nefarious plot is clearly afoot, and Cecil Scumbleby intends to get to the bottom of it.

“A Preference For Shadows” by Ed Teja: A corrupt FBI analyst blackmails an assassin into doing a job for him.

“Bridge To Nowhere” by William Kitcher: Greenizan stands on a bridge in the pouring rain, contemplating the river below, and wonders what the hell Murphy is doing with his car.

Custom Cover Art By Robin Grenville Evans

2024 SMFS Member Shamus Award Nominees

Earlier this week, The Private Eye Writers of America announced their Shamus Award nominees for the 2024 Shamus Awards. There are three categories for awards given for private eye novels and short stories first published in the United States in 2023. The nominated SMFS list members:


Best Original PI Paperback 

Gabriel Valjan for, Liar’s Dice, published by Level Best Books.


Best PI Short Story 

Libby Cudmore for, Beyond Belief, online at TOUGH (May 2023). 

Joesph S. Walker for, Making The Bad Guys Nervous, in Black Cat Weekly #102.


SMFS congratulates our member nominees as well as all the nominated authors.


Per the website:  The winners for Shamus Awards will be announced at the Bouchercon Opening Ceremonies in Nashville, Tennessee Thursday, August 29th 6:30 to 8:00pm (Delta Ballroom A, floor 2) Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center  

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Monday, June 24, 2024

SMFS Member Publishing News: The Penny Drops by Shannon Taft

SMFS list member Shannon Taft’s short story, The Penny Drops, appears in Black Cat Weekly #147. Published by Wildside Press, the issue is available here in digital format.


Publisher Description:

his issue, we have a pair of original mysteries (by Ron Miller and Shannon Taft, the latter two thanks to our Acquiring Editor Barb Goffman), and our mystery novel is a Victorian-era sensation novel by Florence Warden. Of course, there’s a solve-it-yourself puzzler from Hal Charles, too.


Our fantasy and science fiction section is heavier than usual on fantasy, with an Australian tale by Ernest Favenc, a dark fantasy by British master John Glasby, and a supernatural novel by E.F. Benson. Science fiction fans will enjoy classic pulp adventures by Edmond Hamilton and Arthur Leo Zagat. Fun stuff!


Here’s the complete lineup—


Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure:

  • “Take the Money and Run,” by Hal Charles [Solve-It-Yourself Mystery]
  • “The Penny Drops,” by Shannon Taft [Barb Goffman Presents short story]
  • “Velda’s First Case,” by Ron Miller [short story, Velda series]
  • The Mystery of the Inn by the Shore, by Florence Warden [novel]


Science Fiction & Fantasy:

  • “Not Without Sorcery,” by John Glasby [short story]
  • “Fey,” by Ernest Favenc [short story]
  • “The Comet-drivers,” by Edmond Hamilton [short story]
  • “No Escape from Destiny” by Arthur Leo Zagat [short novel]
  • Across the Stream, by E.F. Benson [novel]

Sunday, June 23, 2024

SMFS Member Guest Post: Location, location, location by donalee Moulton

Please welcome SMFS list member donalee Moulton to the blog today...


Location, location, location by donalee Moulton


Where your characters live, work, and solve mysteries can be central to the story. Or not. I’ve discovered that that location is not a requirement or an irrelevancy. It is a spectrum.

At one end of the spectrum, location is essential. As a result, you spend time bringing that location to life, making it real, and of real interest to readers. This requires knowing whereof you write or researching whereof you write. Or both. My latest book, a historical mystery entitled Conflagration!, is based on the real-life story of Marie-Joseph Angélique, an enslaved Black woman accused of burning the lower town of Montreal to the ground in 1734. Montreal as a place and as a community is intertwined with the plot and the characters, fictional and otherwise. As a result, I had to immerse myself in a time and place that no longer exist.

Move further along the location spectrum and you’ll arrive here: the location could be anywhere. The town, island, futuristic community where your characters go about their daily lives is woven into the story but not predetermined. It’s up to you. You may choose a place that is familiar, that fits within the theme of the book, or simply resonates with you.

My first mystery book Hung Out to Die introduces Riel Brava to readers. Riel is originally from Santa Barbara but now living in Nova Scotia, which is where I live. Fact is, Riel could have been uprooted to almost any location where cannabis production is legal. (Riel is CEO of the Canadian Cannabis Corporation. He’s also a psychopath (not the nasty kind), but we’ll save that for another blog.) I chose Nova Scotia because I know this location. Less research would be required, but I also have a deeper connection to this place because it is my place. Many readers have told me how the book feels so much like Nova Scotia. That was not intentional, but it reflects a knowledge of place that goes beyond street maps, tourist locations, and Yelp reviews.

Finally, we reach the other end of the spectrum: place is irrelevant. Indeed, a specific geographical location may not be necessary. I wrote a short story called “Moist,” that for the most part takes place in the main character’s home. Where that home is situated doesn’t matter.

After the story was published, there was a call for stories for a new anthology Santa Cruz Ghost Stories. I reached out to the editor to explain that my story wasn’t really set anywhere so it could be set in Santa Cruz. She agreed. Minor changes were made (like changing Canadian spelling to American (“savour” became “savor”) and using the name of a dollar store Santa Cruz residents would easily recognize.)

Ultimately, location is about character. The two go hand in hand.


donalee Moulton ©2024

donalee Moulton’s first mystery book Hung out to Die was published in 2023. A historical mystery, Conflagration!, was published in 2024. It is a finalist in the 2024 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.

A short story “Swan Song” was one of 21 selected for publication in Cold Canadian Crime. It was shortlisted for an Award of Excellence. Other short stories have been published in Black Cat Weekly, After Dinner ConversationThe Antigonish Review, and numerous anthologies. donalee’s short story “Troubled Water” was shortlisted for a 2024 Derringer Award and a 2024 Award of Excellence from the Crime Writers of Canada.

Saturday, June 22, 2024

2024 Self-Published Science Fiction Competition Winner: Memoirs of a Synth: Gold Record by Leigh Saunders


SMFS list member Leigh Saunders reports that her science fiction/heist novel, Memoirs of a Synth: Gold Record, took 4th place in the 2024 Self-Published Science Fiction Competition (SPSFC3) out of over 200 entries. The announcement from the SPSFC3 was made on X (Twitter). SMFS congratulates Leigh Sanders on her win. 

SMFS Member Publishing News: Dead Drop by Shannon Taft

SMFS list member Shannon Taft reports that her short story, Dead Drop, appears in the On Spec Magazine #128, Vol 34, No 2 issue. The current issue is available here.

SMFS Members Published in Noncorporeal II

SMFS list members are published in the anthology, Noncorporeal II. Published by Inkd Publishing, and with the subtile description of an “Anthology of ghosts, haunts, and spirits” the book is available at Amazon and other vendors. The SMFS list members that reported their presence in the book are:


Noreen Cedeno with “A Lonely Death.”


Aimee Kluck  with “Haunting Henry.”


Beverle Graves Myers with “Tomorrow's Ghost.”



Amazon Description:

A spooky anthology with a wild mix of enjoyable short stories from talented authors!


B. K. Wellman


Beverle Graves Myers


Simon J. Plant


Akis Linardos


John A Bukowski


Aimee Kluck


Kevin Hopson


Andrea L Staum


L.N. Hunter


C.A. Verstraete


Michele Cacano


Siena Buchanan


S. K. Arnette


Cate Moyle


N. M. Cedeño


Mark Beard


Madelyn Lopez


A.R.R. Ash


Kevin A Davis


SMFS Members Published in Mystery Readers Journal: Murder Takes a Holiday, Volume 40, No. 2, Summer 2024


Several SMFS list members have published essays in the Mystery Readers Journal: Murder Takes a Holiday, Volume 40, No. 2, Summer 2024. Published earlier this week by Mystery Readers International, the read is available at the website. The SMFS list members that reported they were published in the issue are:


Elizabeth Elwood with “Holiday Time? No Lazing in the Sun for my Characters.”


J. R. Lindermuth with “A Detective Takes a Holiday.”


Josh Pachter with “Murder Takes a Lot of Holidays.”


Website Description:



·       The Odd Travel Note: John le Carré on Mysteries Real and Fictional by Rona Bell

·       Death on the Water by Beth Hankins

·       Agatha Christie Rides the Rails by Bradley Friedman


·       Please Proceed to Your Gate—To Begin Your (Murderous) Journey by Cathy Ace

·       Monkey Business Meets the Flying Dutchman by Donna Andrews

·       Travel Writer’s Revenge: A Novel Way of “Booking” a Trip by Dawn M. Barclay (D.M. Barr)

·       Travel as Transition? Or Not? by Anne Louise Bannon

·       Wanderlust by Kimberly Belle

·       How I Learned to Write More Than Thirty Pages by Simon Brett

·       When Art Imitates Life by Sally Carpenter

·       On the Road Again by Taffy Cannon

·       A Fatal Fan Fest by Maya Corrigan

·       Too Many Deaths, Too Few Holidays by James R. Coggins

·       Haunted Ofu by John Enright

·       Holiday Time? No Lazing in the Sun for My Characters by Elizabeth Elwood

·       Nero Does Nero by Cordelia Biddle and Steve Zettler (aka Nero Blanc)

·       Crossword: Nero Does Nero

·       Sun, Sand… and Sleuthing by Kate Fellowes

·       A Vacation at the Paris Exposition of 1900 by Dianne Freeman

·       A Killer on Board by Jan Gangsei

·       Murder on Vacation by Peter Heller

·       Murder Takes a Holiday in Caper Cove by Elle Jauffret

·       Mysteries Without Borders by Maria Hudgins

·       An Academic Brat Settles Down and Finds Her Paradise by Leslie Karst

·       Vacations and Holidays by Gay Toltl Kinman

·       A Detective Takes a Holiday by J. R. Lindermuth

·       Hot Grudge Crimes by Larry and Rosemary Mild

·       Never Go on Vacation with Miss Marple by Catherine Mack

·       From Action Scene to Ocean Liner by Edward Marston/Conrad Allen

·       A Golden Getaway with Raúl and Rita by Richie Narvaez

·       Murder Takes a Honeymoon by Neil Plakcy

·       Murder Takes a Lot of Holidays… by Josh Pachter

·       Creating the Vacation from Hell: The Origins of Devils Island by Midge Raymond

·       How Is Anyone Still Alive? by Philipp Schott

·       Have Pen, Will Travel by Tom Straw

·       Charlie Chan Takes a Holiday by John Swann

·       Crime Fiction and the Trip of a Lifetime by Leonie Swann

·       Someone Else’s Vacation by Sarah Stewart Taylor

·       Murder Across the Ocean by Charlene Wexler


·       Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Lucinda Surber, Lesa Holstine, Dru Ann Love

·       Crime for the Holidays by Gay Toltl Kinman

·       Crime Seen: Vacation Video by Kate Derie

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