November 3, 2021

Bart, David; Lawson, BV; Preston, Chris; Soloway, Jeff; plus 6 other authors. MYSTERY WEEKLY MAGAZINE: March 2021. Book 67. Independently published. February '21. $7.99. "At the cutting edge of crime fiction, Mystery Weekly Magazine presents original short stories by the world's best-known and emerging mystery writers. The stories we feature in our monthly issues span every imaginable subgenre, including cozy, police procedural, noir, whodunit, supernatural, hardboiled, humor, and historical mysteries. Evocative writing and a compelling story are the only certainty. Get ready to be surprised, challenged, and entertained - whether you enjoy the style of the Golden Age of mystery (e.g., Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle), the glorious pulp digests of the early twentieth century (e.g., Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler), or contemporary masters of mystery. In this issue: 'Damaged People' by David Bart: Creed didn’t keep his promise to Leah and now it's too late. She's dead. 'Suite In The Key Of Death' by BV Lawson: When Scott Drayco was hired to investigate a suspicious death, he didn't count on an oddball suspect. Or that he'd wish he'd never taken the case at all. In 'It Was Always Temporary' by Chris Preston, a hitman takes on an assignment to make up for recent missteps. Is his loyalty in the right place? 'The Hook=Up Scam' by Jeff Soloway: The woman was not who she claimed. But neither was he. And neither was his wife. Would any of them get their revenge? 'Short Con' by Brandon Barrows: At last, Eli Farris has the freedom he wanted so badly, but he needs money to sustain it. Working is for marks, but he has a plan - only it includes his sister. Amber doesn't take direction well and the buzzing in Eli's head is getting really bad. In 'Billy The Kid, GED' by Jack Clark, a private-eye test for an ambitious young man leads him down a dark alley. In 'Spanky And Delilah Are In Love' by Roger Johns, a dog park romance and a chance encounter with an aging mobster renew Alex Abraham's desire to find his long-lost brother. 'Exhibiting Signs Of Death' by Mark Thielman: During a quick stop at a museum gift shop, a retired cop finds a dead body on display. He and the shop clerk must solve the murder."

Bracken, Michael; Cosby, S.A.; Floyd, John M.; Goldstein, Debra H.; & 3 more. JUKES & TONKS: Crime Fiction Inspired by Music in the Dark and Suspect Choices. Down & Out Books. April '21. $15.95. "Whether their cover bands play Willie Dixon or Willie Nelson, juke joints and honky-tonks appeal to hard-working men and women looking for a good time. Offering hot music, cheap food, and generous amounts of liquor, jukes and tonks are often a community's unofficial gathering spot, where Saturday nights are spent committing the sins church leaders rail against the following morning. The stories in JUKES & TONKS introduce you to many sinners and few saints, love begun and love gone wrong, and all manner of unsavory criminal endeavors. What the stories have in common is that they plop you down in worlds where the music pulsating from the compact stage - if there's a stage at all - provides the backbeat for tales that are unsparing, heartbreaking, twisty, and a few are as dark as the night, and the blinking sign offering live music is an invitation to the unexpected. Contributors include Trey R. Barker, Michael Bracken, Jonathan Brown, S.A. Cosby, John M. Floyd, Debra H. Goldstein, Gar Anthony Haywood, Penny Mickelbury, Gary Phillips, William Dylan Powell, Kimberly B. Richardson, and Stacy Woodson."

Inge, Teresa; Bickford, Susan Alice; Adler, Mary; Dabney, MB;. plus 6 more authors. THE 2021 SISTERS IN CRIME GUPPY ANTHOLOGY: THE FISH THAT GOT AWAY. Wildside Press. June '21. $13.99. "Edited by Linda M. Rodrigues and featuring an introduction by Susan Van Kirk, THE FISH THAT GOT AWAY is the latest anthology from the Guppies Chapter of Sisters in Crime. This volume selects 20 great new stories from the rising stars of mystery fiction! Included are: TO EVERY SEASON by Mary Adler; 'Black On Black In Black' by MB Dabney; 'The Pearl Necklace' by E.B. Davis; 'Know Nothing' by C.M. Surrisi; 'Geetings From The Board' by Mary Dutta; 'Quarry' by Susan Alice Bickford; 'Catch And Release' by Mark Thielman; Dead Armadillos Don't Dance' by Kari Wainwright; 'The Case Of The Abused Aritchoke' by Cynthia Sabelhaus; 'Wild About Saffron' by Marcia Adair; 'Good Neighbors' by Victoria Kazarian; 'Stress Kills' by Cheryl Marceau; 'Granddad's Blood Bait' by Gene Garrison; 'The Legend OF Bahama Bobby' by Melinda Loomis; 'Releasing Lives' by P.A. De Voe; 'Killer's Cruise' by Joseph S. Walker; 'Book Drop' by Sarah A. Bresniker; 'The Last Laugh' by Lori Roberts Herbst; 'The Canine Caper' by Michele Bazan Reed; and 'True Colors' by C.M. West."

Mystery Writers Of America. DEADLY ANNIVERSARIES: A Collection of Stories from Crime Fiction's Top Authors. Muller, Marcia & Pronzini, Bill, editors. Hanover Square Press. April '21. $9.99. "Mystery Writers of America is proud to present Deadly Anniversaries, a collection of crime and mystery stories from some of the best contemporary authors, all of whom have been invited to put their own unique spin on what it means to recognize a certain day or event every year. An anniversary can take many forms, and by the time this group of bestsellers and award winners is through, none of us will ever look at anniversaries the same way again. Edited by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini, this collection features original stories from twenty industry giants. DEADLY ANNIVERSARIES is sure to shock, scare and delight mystery and suspense fans of all kinds. The list of writers includes: Doug Allyn, Lee Child, Max Allan Collins, Jeffery Deaver, Meg Gardiner, Alison Gaylin, Sue Grafton, Carolyn Hart, Naomi Hirahara, Wendy Hornsby, Laurie R. King, William Kent Krueger, Laura Lippman, Peter Lovesey, Margaret Maron, Marcia Muller, Bill Pronzini, Peter Robinson, S.J. Rozan, and Julie Smith.

Oates, Joyce Carol. NIGHT, NEON: Tales of Mystery and Suspense. Mysterious Press. June '21. $25.95. "A new collection of dark, chilling tales from the #1 New York Times Bestselling author. From literary icon Joyce Carol Oates comes a brand new collection of haunting and, at times, darkly humorous mystery & suspense stories. These are tales of psyches pushed to their limits by the expectations of everyday life - from a woman who gets lost on her drive home to her plush suburban home and ends up breaking into a stranger's house, to a first-person account of a cloned 1940s magazine pinup girl being sold at auction and embodying America's ideals of beauty and womanhood. Taken as a whole, the collection forms a poignant tapestry of regular people searching for their place in a social hierarchy, often with devastating and disastrous results. Rendered with stylish, fresh writing from an author who continues to push the envelope, the stories deftly weave in and out of a stream-of-consciousness to reflect the ways we process traumatic experiences and impart that uncertainty and uneasiness to the reader. Originally appearing in publications as disparate as Harper's, Vice, and Conjunctions, the stories comprising NIGHT, NEON showcase Oates' mastery of the suspense story - and her relentless use of the form to conduct unapologetically honest explorations of American identity.

© 1996-2021 Bill Palmer