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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.

Look for our May/June 2023 issue on sale at newsstands on April 18, 2023. Or subscribe to AHMM in print or in a wide variety of digital formats.

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