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The Finest in Crime and Suspense Short Fiction

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Seriously Serial

Readers get a lot of pleasure encountering old friends, series characters that they’ve met before. AHMM is always pleased to welcome such recidivists, and many writers have taken the opportunity to introduce new characters in these pages who have gone on to great acclaim. In fact, our Black Orchid Novella Award winner, Libby Cudmore, already has further plans for the private eye duo she introduces in “Alibi in Ice.” You’ll find more familiar faces, as well as some standout stand-alones, in this issue.

Marcelle Dubé revisits retired Chief Superintendent Estelle Martin, now a volunteer at a homeless shelter in the Yukon, who finds herself involved in a missing person case in “Chuck Berry Is Missing.” Math teacher Pete Barrow augments his salary by conducting private investigations, so it’s natural that the Potomac County sheriff would call him for help when a found child claims to be from the early 1960s in “Time Lies” by Ken Linn.

Tom Larsen introduced Ecuadorian P.I. Wilson Salinas to our readers in 2017, and he returns here in “El Abuelo Descarrido” (The Wayward Grandfather), taking a case for a wealthy client, only to learn that he himself is being set up to take the blame for a murder. John H. Dirckx has been publishing top-notch procedurals in our pages for more than forty years; this time around his team of crime solvers tackles the murder of a corporate spy in “Missing Links.”

But not everyone is a repeat offender (at least not yet), and we are delighted to welcome in this issue three writers new to our pages: in Steven Sheil’s “The Art of Cruel Embroidery” the tailor to a country music star lends his craft and encouragement to a new voice; in Vicki Weisfeld’s “Among the Long Shadows,” a young reporter encounters a dead body in a new museum exhibit; and in Irette Y. Patterson’s “Safe at Home,” a friendship is rekindled with home baked goodies.

Meanwhile, a liquor agent rekindles an old flame for the bootlegger’s daughter in John M. Floyd’s “Moonshine and Roses.” Stealing a Faberge egg requires some clever planning in Joslyn Chase’s “Delivering the Egg MacGuffin.” A woman’s mindfulness training comes in handy her when her home is invaded in Craig Faustus Buck’s “Home Game.” And when a woman disappears, then reappears, the sudden lifting of suspicion opens up opportunities for her husband in Janice Law’s “Up and Gone.”

We hope that our readers view each issue of AHMM as a visit from old friends.

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Among the Long Shadows
by Vicki Weisfeld

Hector’s grumbling came through his closed front door loud and clear before he even flipped on the porch light. “Why so early, Bree?”

“Oooh. I see you missed your beauty sleep,” I said. Hector hoisted his bag of camera equipment over a shoulder as we headed to my car, parked at the curb, engine running.

“It’s still dark, woman,” he huffed.

I popped the trunk, and he stashed the gear. READ MORE


Safe at Home
by Irette Y. Patterson

I still thought of the neighborhood I grew up in as safe. I mean, of course, doing my first cursory review before heading back home gave me a clue of what to expect. The housing app I downloaded outlined the ranking of Ruby Gate Elementary School, the school I spent seven years walking to and from.

Back then the county was testing a new concept—placing elementary schools in neighborhoods. So, there I was, pigtailed with glasses in Wonder Woman brown to match the book bag slung across my body, the bag bumping against my thigh as I rushed to make it in time before the opening bell. READ MORE


Booked & Printed
by Laurel Flores Fantauzzo

The history of a relationship—an intense friendship or a romance—can be mysterious to outsiders. There is the performance of a pair’s togetherness in public, often with displays of kindness and compatibility. And then there are the scenarios that arise in private, when calculated choices, unexpected demands, and reactivity can curdle. Eventually the realities of the public and the private may collide, bringing a bond’s secrets into the open. But a long relationship can be mysterious even to those who live in it, remember it, and, occasionally, return to it. This month, Booked and Printed examines women protagonists coming to terms with their past relationships, even as new and present murderous danger rises around them.  READ MORE

Mysterious Photograph

We give a prize of $25 to the person who invents the best mystery story (in 250 words or less, and be sure to include a crime) based on the photograph provided in each issue. The story will be printed in a future issue. READ THIS ISSUE’S WINNING STORY

Dying Words
Acrostic puzzle by Arlene Fisher

Solve the clues to reveal an interesting observation about an author and their work! Shh! Puzzle updated with every new issue. CURRENT ISSUE’S PUZZLE

Scrambled Wolfe
by Mark Lagasse

Unscramble the letters of each numbered entry to spell the name of a famous sleuth. MOST RECENT PUZZLE

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