Tuesday, January 23, 2018

SMFS Member Publication News: Diana Deverell

SMFS Member Diana Deverell's short story "Organ Trade Off" appears in the current issue of Switchblade: An Anthology of Noir (Issue 4), released Jan. 13, 2018.  The magazine is available in both print and electronic versions at https://www.amazon.com/Switchblade-Issue-Four-Keith-Rawson/dp/099876504X


Diana's new political thriller Bitch Out of Hell was released on Jan. 19, 2018, and is available from all major ebook vendors https://books2read.com/u/49PqoY
including amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078WQVXTK?tag=diandeve-20

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Little Big Crimes Review: The Spoils by William Ryan

Little Big Crimes: The Spoils, by William Ryan: "The Spoils," by William Ryan, in CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour, edited by Martin Edwards, Orenda Books, 2017. ...

2018 Derringer Awards Update - January 20

Originally posted to Shortmystery January 21, 2018, 12:58 a.m. EST, by Derringer Awards Coordinator Jay Hartman:

Here's the complete list of Derringer submissions that I've received and acknowledged through 1/20. I apologize for those who submitted at the beginning of January but only received acknowledgments tonight. Technology is a beautiful thing... when it works.

Many thanks to those of you who made donations [to Cancer Research Institute] in Sandi [Tipple] and Bill [Crider]'s name!

If you don’t see your title below or spot an error, DO NOT EMAIL [Shortmystery]. Please send me an email at derringers2018@untreedreads.com


Jay Hartman

FLASH (up to 1,000 words)
  • A Will and a Way
  • Alleyway Alvin
  • Altercation on Ballet Boulevard
  • An Afternoon in Lake Park
  • Disappearing Act
  • Dog Trap
  • Father Knows Bets
  • Flash Point
  • Hostage
  • Meeting the Demand
  • Slipping Into Darkness
  • Stegmann's Basement
  • The Forcier Brothers
  • The Hitchhiker

SHORT STORY (1,001–4,000 words)

  • A Death in Deep Ellum
  • A Murder in Montreux
  • A Respectable Lady
  • Antiques
  • Black Friday
  • Blood Moon
  • Bull's Eye
  • Consequences
  • Eb and Flo
  • Every Picture Tells a Story
  • Flight to the Flirty Flamingo
  • Her Father's Killer
  • Homebodies
  • It's All Litter to Me
  • Judge Jillian
  • Justice Due
  • Killing Time So I Can Dig Myself a Deeper Gravev
  • Let It Burn
  • Live at Alcatraz
  • Missing Person
  • Missouri Waltz
  • Most Evil
  • Murder in the Summer Kitchen
  • My Life in Killer Recipes
  • Napa Hospitality
  • Nut Job
  • On Like Donkey Kong
  • Shut Your Eyes and You'll Be Fine
  • The Baker's Boy
  • The Bank Job
  • The Chair Thief
  • The Girl with the Mangled Breast
  • The Hardest Part
  • The Last Train Out
  • The Perfect Patsy
  • The Queen-Size Bed
  • The Settlement
  • The Writer
  • To the Moon and Back
  • True Love
  • Voices Carry
  • You Should've Called Me

LONG STORY (4,001–8,000 words)

  • A Woman's Place
  • As Ye Sow
  • Becky's File
  • Breadfruit
  • Burning Bright
  • Burnt Orange
  • Chasing the Moon
  • Cleaning Up the Neighborhood
  • Crazy Cat Lady
  • Death and the Dancing Bears
  • Death Will Help You Imagine
  • Dixie Quickies
  • Do Not Pass Go
  • Exposed for Murder
  • Fairy Tales
  • Featuring Martin and Lewis
  • Gun Work
  • Happy Families
  • Hidden
  • Matricide and Ice Cream
  • Ominous Silence
  • Raising Bigfoot
  • Smoked
  • Snakebite
  • The Barter
  • The Darkness and the Light
  • The Last Evil
  • The Magnolia Murders
  • The Mechanical Rat
  • The Spy Who Read Too Much
  • The Thirty-Fourth Man
  • The Touch of Time
  • The Tragic Death of Mrs. Edna Fogg
  • The Widow Black
  • Too Good to be True
  • Trail's End
  • Whose Wine Is It Anyway?

NOVELETTE (8,001–20,000 words)

  • A Necessary Ingredient
  • Along the Hudson
  • London After Midnight
  • Look What They’ve Done to My Song, Ma
  • Night Class
  • The Bootlegger's Goddaughter
  • The Children of Espiritu Santo
  • The Last Heist
  • The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn
  • The Mechanical Detective
  • Trouble Like a Freight Train Coming
  • Windward

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

SleuthSayers: You Only Live Twice

SleuthSayers: You Only Live Twice: by Michael Bracken Though perhaps not as famous as her husband—at least not until portrayed by Courtney Love in The People vs. Larry Flynt...

Guest Post: A Quick Note About Ransom Notes by Peter DiChellis

It has been awhile, but SMFS member Peter DiChellis is back today with some thoughts about ransom notes in this technological age…..

A Quick Note About Ransom Notes by Peter DiChellis

Mystery writers scrutinize every angle of all types of dastardly crimes to research their stories. And after giving it a little thought (some might say too little), I’ve decided composing the ransom note would be the toughest part of a kidnapping.

You know the notes I mean: pUT tHe MOney iN a PLaiN Paper baG

Think about this from the average kidnapper's perspective: You create ransom notes like those by cutting up magazines and pasting different letters together. I suppose this prevents linking your handwriting or printer to the crime, but who has magazines lying around the house any more? So now you’ve got to make a special trip to a newsstand? And then what? You flip through every magazine in the place to see which ones have the letters you need? Seriously?

And after you buy magazines with all of the right letters in them, you still need glue. Who the hell has glue? Not the newsstand, right? So now you need to hump down to the drugstore for glue? (Fine, maybe you could have bought the magazines at the drugstore too, but who knew?)

Okay, let’s say you’ve already got scissors at home and a sheet of paper to glue the letters onto. You still have to flip through the magazines again, cut out the letters you need, and glue them onto the paper.

Sound easy? No way! First off, there’s no spell-check or auto-correct, so you’re on your own to get the spelling right. And what if some of the letters are so big there’s not enough room when you get to the end of a line? Now you’ve got to dig through the magazines again to find a hyphen? And don’t get me started on other punctuation! What if you need a semi-colon or an accent aigu? What kind of magazines do you buy to find those?
Also, if you’ve got any taste at all you have to consider how different letters’ fonts and colors will look together. Otherwise, the note becomes a disjointed eyesore and an FBI profiler will construct a really embarrassing evaluation of you: “The unsub is probably a sloppy, colorblind loser who has an unhealthy obsession with grammar and composition, knows nothing about desktop publishing, hangs around in newsstands, and has fingers covered with glue residue.” Not exactly flattering.

Sure, the movies want you to think picking up the ransom money is the toughest part of a kidnapping because the cops can stake out the pick-up spot. But think about this: The people who make movies have assistants who can put together the ransom notes for them. Ordinary kidnappers need to do it themselves.


Finally, I’m happy to announce two new stories. My double-twist crime story “Eternal Love” starts with a ransom note and ends with a tragedy. The story appears in LA-based noir standout Switchblade: Issue 4, available at discerning Los Angeles-area bookstores and on Amazon too. And my humorous mystery yarn “Listen Up” is the cover story and free to read in the new issue of Derringer rockin’ online ‘zine Flash Bang Mysteries.

Peter DiChellis ©2018

Peter DiChellis concocts sinister and sometimes comedic tales for anthologies, ezines, and magazines. He is a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society and an Active (published author) member of the Mystery Writers of America, Private Eye Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. For more, visit his site Murder and Fries at http://murderandfries.wordpress.com/