We strive to make each issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine a varied collection of complementary gems, a set of well cut and well matched but distinctive jewels. Our authors, of course, are the forces of nature that produce these treasures, but we strive to show them off to their best advantage. And it’s always a pleasure to see them continue to sparkle long after their appearance in our pages: We’re delighted to celebrate three such gems that are now nominees for prestigious awards. “Blindsided” (September/October 2021) by Michael Bracken and James A. Hearn and “The Road to Hana” (May/June 2021) by R.T. Lawton are both shortlisted for the Edgar Award for Best Short Story, while “A Family Matter” (January/February 2021) by Barb Goffman is a nominee for the Agatha Award for Best Short Story. Our heartiest congratulations to these authors and to all the nominees.
This May/June issue is its own cache of gems. Family dynamics produce a complex stew of expectation, loyalty, and tradition in Robert Mangeot’s thriller “Crossing the Line, Twice.” Two friends in 1950s St. Louis find themselves bystanders to a dangerous “family” drama in Christopher Latragna’s “Let’s Keep the Party Polite.” A loyal employee of the Chicago Outfit is confronted with an extraordinary request in “Partners in Crime” by Wayne J. Gardiner. And a sheriff and his mystery-writer friend confront a conundrum involving both high schoolers and lawyers in “The Dollhouse” by John M. Floyd.
We’re delighted to welcome three new authors to our pages this issue. Casey Karaman brings us “Locum,” a chilling tale of how a settled life can become very unsettled. Pat Black describes the strange predicament faced by “The Man in the Long Dark Coat.” And Leslie Elman’s wealthy spinster finds her life constricted by the people who surround her in “Renee Takes Things.”
James R. Benn returns to our pages with a tale with ties to his popular Billy Boyle mysteries: “The Refusal Camp” is a murder story set within a murderous regime. And we are always delighted to welcome back Loren D. Estleman, who covers the WWII homefront in his latest exciting Four Horsemen story, “The Werewolf of Mackinac.”
Kevin Egan brings us another twisty episode from the labyrinths of the New York criminal justice system in “The Harbinger.” Joseph Goodrich once again turns to modernist novelist Marcel Proust as an unlikely sleuth in “Death in Paris.” A murdered tourist finds unexpected assistance in the spirit world in “Detective Anne Boleyn” by Susan Breen. And a Hollywood film composer near the end of his life is confronted with his secret past in London in “Moonlight in Our Eyes” by Stephen Ross.
In all, a collection of gems that we hope will bring a sparkle to your eye.
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by Christopher Latragna
The Lemon Lounge
Downtown St. Louis, MO
“What do you think of that guy over there?”
Henry looked at the gentleman in the faded white sports coat sitting with his back to the bottles.
The guy, wearing a straw hat and a stupid grin, looked about the bar holding and ignoring a rocks glass filled with something clear. READ MORE
by James R. Benn
The factory floor was thick with noise and odor. The clatter of metal and the squeaky wheels of heavy trolleys on cold concrete. The stench of acetylene cutting steel and the sharp, oily tang of scrap metal. The smell of bodies crammed together along workbenches, women in striped dresses worn over filthy layers for warmth.
Malou worked quickly, assembling the machine parts that were brought to her table in a never-ending stream of metal and wire. She had no idea what they were for. No one did. Not the prisoners, not the guards. A Nazi secret weapon, some said. What else could it be? Why else would the Germans transport the women here every day from Ravensbrück, even issuing them extra rations? READ MORE
by Laurel Flores Fantauzzo
The American abroad: an archetype in mysteries. Weary and alone, baffled and frantic, annoyed or annoying, embedded in the locale. How will a protagonist—or an antagonist—form a relationship with their unfamiliar surroundings, beyond the States’ borders? What plan, or lack of a plan, will animate them? What past haunts them into a new country? Will they scheme and manipulate? Or will they work closely with the people of another place, collaborating in healthy ways? This month, Booked and Printed examines two mysteries that take Americans to high-pressure criminal acts in different countries, forcing them to confront their unfamiliar surroundings and the weight of their own secrets. READ MORE
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 THE MOST RECENT WINNING STORY
by Lee Lofland
No matter how law enforcement officers serve a search warrant, with or without force, the process is an invasion of private spaces. And when police enter a home, residents can and often do become quite offended, angry, and sometimes violent when the badge-wearing strangers begin pawing through kitchen cabinets, Pop’s toolboxes, and the dresser drawers containing dear old Granny’s unmentionables. It’s not a fun time for anyone. READ MORE
Acrostic puzzle by Arlene Fisher
Solve the clues to reveal an interesting observation about an author and their work! Shh! The solution to the puzzle will appear in the next issue. CURRENT ISSUE'S PUZZLE
by Mark Lagasse
Unscramble the letters of each numbered entry to spell the name of a famous sleuth. MOST RECENT PUZZLE