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The Finest in Crime and Suspense Short Fiction

Current Issue Highlights

Murder Most Mirthful

At press time we learned that three AHMM stories have been nominated for an Edgar Award (sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America). Congratulations to Gregory Fallis for “Red Flag” (Mar/Apr 2022); Charles John Harper for “Backstory” (Jan/Feb 2022), and William Burton McCormick for “Locked-In” (Jan/Feb 2022).

One of the characteristics people associate with the Alfred Hitchcock name is a dollop of humor mixed with the mystery and suspense. We here at AHMM have always enjoyed this. So, with this issue we lean into the lighter side with a handful of stories that will prompt a chuckle or two.

Mark Thielman’s “The Case of the Kosher Deal” provokes some smiles by means of voice and situation, while Dan Crawford’s “Heelprints in the Sands of Time” makes use of absurd juxtapositions and a pompous character, and Loretta Ross’s “Murder Mnemonic” through an extremely unusual point of view.

The classic “battle of wits” between characters is a fine driver of stories. This issue features such contests in Mike Cooper’s “Personal Space,” set amongst the stars; Jeff Soloway’s “Weekend at Paul’s,” set at a getaway for guys at a remote cabin; Elizabeth Zelvin’s historical “A Matter of Perspective,” detailing a young woman’s struggles to survive in a hostile land; and David Hagerty’s “Sheep is Life,” in which the Navajo tribesman Adistan goes head to head with agents from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Critical thinking skills are the hallmark of a good private eye, and both R.J. Carr, in S. L. Franklin’s “One, Two, Deja Vu” and attorney Minerva James and her investigator Carson Robinson, in Mark Bruce’s “Minerva James and the River God,” bring exemplary analytical powers to their dogged pursuit of the truth. Meanwhile, the specter of the past casts long shadows on the present in Elaine Menge’s “Sip and Float” and Michael Bracken’s “Denim Mining.” An early morning visitor upsets the routine of a rural radio station in Nikki Knight’s “The Annual Mud Season Homicide.” And a new homeowner finds his tranquility upended by the demands of a dying business mogul in Gar Anthony’s Haywood’s “Room in the Heart.”

We suspect our readers may also sometimes enjoy their murder and mayhem with a side of levity and wish you the best of merry mysteries.

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Murder Mnemonic
by Loretta Sue Ross

Gilbert DuPont fell off a cliff and landed someplace really weird.

No. Wait. That isn’t quite right. Gilbert was pushed off a cliff.

Before his descent, Gilbert was a successful, if socially awkward, businessman. He had a sizzling fast car and a hefty bank account and a house with a Jacuzzi and a Peloton and an entire room given over to his collection of antique model trains. And he was content with his life, even if he’d never found anyone to share it.  READ MORE

The Case of the Kosher Deal
by Mark Thielman

I could imagine a worse day in Boise, but not without boils, locusts, or the Boise River running blood red through Barber Park.

Outside a thunderstorm raged, downing powerlines and bringing the city to a standstill. Inside, we had a dead body. Someone had brought him to a lay-still.

The boss had invited me to the headquarters of the Potato Advisory Board. Some of the honchos were spitballing plans for a new promotional campaign, and she wanted her boots-on-the-ground to be there. READ MORE


Booked & Printed
by Laurel Flores Fantauzzo

Powerful personalities can act as trusted guides in the best of cases, or dangerous bullies in the worst of cases. Charismatic, self-assured, outspoken individuals can attract loyal acolytes, or repel skeptical onlookers. What to do with a convincing, utterly compelling, uncensored leader? Booked and Printed examines two mysteries with magnetic personalities at their hearts, and the affected witnesses and victims who follow or resist 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 Bond… James Bond
by Mark Lagasse

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

Case Files: Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk: Undercover Narcotics Assignments
by Lee Lofland

Working undercover is a special assignment that presents unique challenges. This lone officer often works without the luxury of backup and a weapon for self-defense. They must have the capability to think quickly, keep emotions in check when faced with highly stressful and potentially dangerous situations, and act outside the norm, even when some actions are in direct contrast to their academy training and on-the-job experience. READ MORE

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