Monday, January 5, 2015

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine March 2015

I began this year, 2015, with good intentions of posting a blog every Monday and writing and publishing four short stories. I wish I could say that I’m on track, with the arrival last week of the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. This issue contains an Anita Ray story, “Perfect in Every Way,” but the story was written and accepted some time ago. Still, the issue arrived, with my name on the cover, which is always a thrill. As always, I settled in to read the issue through. So, while I can’t say I’ve achieved one of my goals in relation to short fiction, I have achieved another one—posting every Monday (or perhaps Tuesday).

I love AHMM for the variety of work I find here. The March 2015 issue opens with “Pill Bug,” by Joseph S. Walker, a story about two soldiers discharged after Korea looking for work. They get jobs as extras in a low-budget science fiction movie. Nelson is glad to have the work, and Kellner follows along because Nelson keeps him stable, taking his pills and staying out of trouble. This story had so many twists I had to read the last few pages three times—worth it every time.

In “A Joy Forever” by B.K. Stevens, the story switches from the wife’s fantasy of a happy marriage to her husband’s when he marries a woman who, under pressure, finally learns to cook. In “The Woman in Brown” by Tony Richards, a young man in 1959 encounters an apparition or a real person—he can’t be certain—crossing an empty park in the fog. She seems to be imploring him for help. The image haunts him but he can find no answer to the riddle, and moves on.

In “The Color of Gold,” Donald Moffitt takes us to the seas around Borneo and other parts of Southeast Asia in the nineteenth century, letting us sail with all the marginal characters of that time and life. People rise and fall very fast. In “Blueprint,” J.A. Moser gives us a writer with a diabolical turn of mind.

The mystery classic is “Red Dot,” by Samuel Hopkins Adams, featuring Average Jones, and originally published in 1911. The writer is new to me, and I’m glad to come across the story.

Jones is intrigued by the announcement of a reward, posted in a newspaper. That got me thinking about the role newspapers played in mysteries in the years up to World War II. One title that comes immediately to mind is A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie. Somehow I don’t see an announcement on FB as having quite the same impact as one in a newspaper read by thousands.

8 comments:

  1. Oh don't get me started about Facebook! Congratulations to you. A great start to the year.

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    1. Thanks, Maddy. FB--the program we love to hate.

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  2. Hi, Susan,

    Major congrats! Getting published by AHMM is a very big deal! And how wonderful to find your name on the front cover. I do agree that the move to digital has seriously harmed print publication and I for one mourn the change.

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    1. Every night I read the printed newspaper, and every night I wonder where all the good stories have gone. Human nature hasn't changed. Big sigh. Thanks for commenting.

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  3. Congrats on the story, Susan. Guess I'm going to have to pick up a copy!

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    1. Thanks, Edith. Hope you enjoy it (but when will you have time to read!).

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  4. Thank you for mentioning my story in the March AHMM. And congratulations on "Perfect in Every Way," your story about a woman who nearly gets hit in the head by a coconut.

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    1. I loved your story, B.K. I chuckled all the way through.

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