Saturday, September 7, 2013

Review: Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - November 2013 - Volume CXLII, No. 5

As I mentioned in my previous review, I started reading some crime fiction. After Alfred Hitchock Mystery Magazine it's time for Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, the more "mature" of the two.

"Small Kingdoms” by Charlain Harris. Travis High School’s principal Anne DeWitt seems a person affected by OCD. She has a very tight schedule, she loves punctuality and she likes efficiency. One morning, someone breaks into her house. She ends up killing him with some scissors. We can all agree that would freak anyone out. Well, Anne DeWitt is more concerned about her disrupted daily routine than of having killed a man. After all, disposing of a body requires some time. Nice story; I believe that Anne DeWitt is characterized very well although the ending is somewhat weak.

“The Covering Storm” by David H. Ingram. I cannot be happier to see a story based in Texas! In 1900 a rich man, Wendell Asquith, is very jealous of his beautiful wife, Amelia. Things are made worse by another member of high-society that basically goes around proclaiming his love for Amelia. Wendell cannot take it anymore and decides to teach the guy a lesson, weather permitting! Nice short story, great ending. I strongly recommend it.

"A Study in Mint" by Lou Manfredo is a complex story with a nice pace. As the previous story by Ingram, this piece is based in pre-WWII period. Constable Gus Oliver is called to investigate a suicide. Everything seems to suggest that it's actually just that, a suicide. Very nice and a worth the read.

“Sob sisters” by Kris Nelscott is another good piece of short literature. Val Wilson is a volunteer for a hotline for rape victims. Detective Kaplan calls her to unofficially investigate the murder of the most important woman in town, a very rich philanthropist. As one would imagine when rich people are murdered in crime stories, a lot of  dark secrets will come afloat. The only thing I really did not like (small spoiler) is the whole idea of a “secret room in the house.” It looked more like a quick plot device to add some unnecessary mystery than something that the story actually needed. Good read.

"Princess Anne" is a short story about a murderer and a happy family. Not really great, but it's a nice bedtime story (if you're twisted as I am).

"Interview" by Neil Schofield is an interesting story about a woman (a divorcee) that while driving picks up a random guy. Is he dangerous or does she have a plan?

"Darkness in the City of Lights" by Hilary Davidson is a love triangle story in Paris. I didn't really enjoy it as it seemed more fit for young adults, for my tastes.

"Statement No. 060.719-67" by Raphael Montes is this month's "Passport to Crime" story. Very Poeseque (The Tell-Tale Heart, anybody?) with a very good ending.

"Doloroso" by Stephen T. Vessels is about drug lords and ghosts. Interesting enough, but the story did not really flow for me. In addition, I am not really fond of drug related stories unless they are very well written.

Final Comment: Very good issue, well worth the price. Good job to all the writers.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Enrico, for your kind words. It's music to the ears of an author.