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Welcome to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine! Discover original, spine-tingling stories by top-notch authors and new writers from all corners of the mystery genre, plus news, reviews, and more… to make your blood run cold!

Unity Con
Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Scrap Drive
Loren D. Estleman

Booked & Printed
Robert C. Hahn

All in the Family
Linda Landrigan

The Story That Won
In 250 words or less...

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Meditations on Murder
In our third annual Case File essay, Joseph Goodrich considers the music that puts him in the mood to murder—if only on the page. Meanwhile, a dozen thoughtful short story writers offer their own engaging meditations ...

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Over 60 Years of Awards

157 Nominations from the full breadth of mystery genres

37 Award-winning stories 

Edgar, Agatha, Barry, Arthur Ellis, Robert L. Fish, Macavity, Shamus, Thriller, Anthony


Great stories of any genre are rooted in characters — well-drawn, individual, and credibly motivated…

Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine is one of the oldest and most influential magazines of short mystery and crime fiction in the world. Launched over 60 years ago, today AHMM maintains a tradition of featuring both promising aspiring writers and talented authors, spanning the full spectrum of sub-genres from dark noir to graphic works.

Meet the Who’s Who of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine authors! View The Lineup of contributors in the current issue, see what motivates our writers, and much more.

Old songs notwithstanding, we are not, strictly speaking, required to always hurt the ones we love—but as this issue demonstrates, things often work out that way.

In R.T. Lawton’s “The Chinese Box,” for instance, the city-bred and educated son of a Shan Army warlord finds himself in competition with his own older half-brother, while two actors who once played brothers on a hit TV show have a very different off-screen dynamic in Brendon DuBois’s “The Wildest One.” Ecuadoran P.I. Wilson Salinas, meanwhile, must retrieve his neighbor’s granddaughter—snatched by her own father in “En Agua Caliente.”

"Skeletons in the Closet”… Get the latest news, check out Editor Linda Landrigan's blog, enjoy lively podcasts, test your mystery puzzling mettle, see if you have what it takes to be a mystery writer. It's all here.

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An Inside Look

Art by Hank Blaustein

Unity Con: A Spade/Paladin Conundrum

by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

When Paladin called to ask for my help, I was sitting in a planning meeting with some fen at an ancient Holiday Inn outside of Garland, Texas. We were crowded around a fake wood conference table so old that it had cigarette burns in the laminate. We were in a calm discussion about the best way to handle hotel negotiations when my cell phone rang.

The fen—fannish lingo for a gathering of true fans—all recognized my ringtone.

It was “The Ballad of Paladin,” from the old Richard Boone TV show, Have Gun Will Travel. Paladin took a lot from that show, including her business card, which read:





Of course, Boone’s card read “Wire Paladin,” but you get the idea. Paladin was a fan, even though she rarely admitted it.

And the fen in the room were savvy enough to realize from the ringtone alone who was calling me.

Paladin and I had become quite a team. When some cons had problems, they even asked for us together, which pissed her off. She preferred to work alone.

She would probably be upset at the ringtone. She had given me her cell number just a few months ago. She was stingy with information. Even though we had worked together half a dozen times, she had yet to tell me her real name.

I excused myself and went to the dusty hallway, with its sun-faded red carpet, sneezing once before answering the phone.

“Hey, Paladin,” I said cheerfully, even though I knew this wasn’t a personal call. Paladin rarely called me for personal reasons. Most of those reasons had to do with Casper (no, not her real name either), an utterly brilliant girl we had cosponsored at one of the best boarding schools in San Francisco. (Long story.)

Paladin didn’t bother with hello. “Where are you?”

“Near Garland,” I said.

“Texas? Oh, good,” she said, even though she didn’t sound all that thrilled. “How long will it take you to get here?”

Typical Paladin. She thought I kept track of her. Much as I would have loved to, such behavior was called stalking and was against the law.

“Where’s here?” I asked.

“Unity Con,” she said.

The very name put my back up. The folks running Unity Con had irritated me from the start. I’m a SMoF, just like all the fen in that run-down conference room. We’re known as the Secret Masters of Fandom for a reason. We run conventions, which are multimillion-dollar organizations, and we do it smoothly.

But SMoFs had nothing to do with Unity Con. It was being run by a group of writers who thought they knew how conventions should operate, rather than how conventions did operate. READ MORE



Art by Tim Foley

Scrap Drive: A Four Horsemen Story

by Loren D. Estleman

“I can’t feel my privates,” Detective Burke said.

Sergeant Canal shifted his cigar to the other side of his mouth. “If that’s an invitation, count me out.”

“A little respect, fellas.” Lieutenant Zagreb inclined his head toward a loudspeaker blasting out Kate Smith singing “God Bless America.” The men crowded around the great heap in the middle of Grand Circus—those who weren’t in military uniform—stood with their hats off, the women with their hands over their hearts. The servicemen stood at attention, saluting.

Burke dropped his voice to a grating whisper. “What I mean is, right now some dogface in Buttcracken, Germany, is wearing my long johns. I just got ’em broke in when Sadie packed ’em off to her brother in the hundred and first.”

“We all make sacrifices,” Canal said. “My toaster’s in that pile. Ever try to eat ersatz bread raw?”

“Cheer up. Maybe a slice’ll find its way up Hitler’s ass.”

The normally well-tended park in the center of downtown Detroit resembled a city dump. Iron stoves, aluminum pots and pans, copper kettles, brass door knockers, coils of wire, toy trains, candlesticks, tin cups, sardine cans, galvanized pails, claw-foot tubs, bowling trophies, and small appliances stood in a mound fifteen feet high and thirty feet in diameter, surrounded by spectators. If it was made of metal, it could be converted into tanks, planes, destroyers, bullets, and bombs aimed at Germany, Italy, and Japan.

Detective third-grade McReary joined them. “All clear, L.T.”

Zagreb studied the young man from head to foot, looking for a telltale bulge in his overcoat that might belong to a smuggled coffee pot. The lieutenant himself had been known to score a useful treasure or two from such displays, but not when it was his duty to protect them from scavengers. “Keep your eyes peeled,” he said, “all of you. I don’t have to tell you what happened last time.”

Fourteen months earlier, in the fall of 1943, an olive-drab truck with a khaki canvas sheet stretched over the trailer had driven up to one of the community events staged by the mayor to encourage support of the war effort, loaded up with donated scrap, and rumbled away, to cheers from the crowd. The cargo never reached the local plants, which had suspended automobile production in order to build combat weapons. Instead, the truck with u.s. army stenciled on the side of the cab was found abandoned in a barn in neighboring Oakland County, its load likely divvied up among unscrupulous manufacturers paying rock-bottom prices for raw material.

Burke said, “If we pinched Frankie last month like I said we should, we wouldn’t be out here freezing our nuts off. You can’t give orders from the hole at Thirteen Hundred.”

Thirteen Hundred Beaubien was police headquarters, where Zagreb’s Racket Squad worked with a skeleton force of officers not yet caught up in the draft to tighten the screws on gangsters like Frankie Orr, who’d invested bootlegging profits left over from Prohibition into the wartime black market.



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