Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine - January/February 2018Add to Favorites

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In this issue

Crime is always somewhat unexpected—if things go as planned. It’s often the surprises that make a great mystery story. You don’t expect a killer to show up at a holiday party, unfortunately for the revelers in Michael Nethercott’s “Sinners at Eight.” And when you’re a young bookstore clerk, you don’t expect that doing a favor will have the repercussions seen in Peter Sellers’ “Christmas Help.” An attorney doesn’t expect to take on a murder case for a former client in “Coroners Don’t Change Faces” by S. Frederic Liss. But the unemployed nephew of a Hollywood mogul does expect to do great things as a crime fighter in James Lincoln Warren’s sendup “The Chinese Dog Mystery.” A bum doesn’t expect to have a visitor in jail in Robert Lopresti’s “Train Tracks,” but it changes his life. While an unexpected visit from postal inspectors confirms a young Navajo boy’s suspicions in David Hagerty’s “Fair Trade.” In Marianne Wilski Strong’s “Louisa and the Lighthouse,” a beach stroll leads to the unexpected finding of a prized necklace, and the writings of Louisa May Alcott knit together the clues. In Alex C. Renwick’s “Shallow Sand,” a beachcomber finds more than he expected with a metal detector. An unexpected windfall is trouble for a woman with a gambling bug in John M. Floyd’s “Scavenger Hunt.” And a chance purchase from a sidewalk vendor unexpectedly troubles long-buried memories in Janice Law’s “The Crucial Game.” We have two great (as expected) procedurals from John H. Dirckx (“Go for the Juggler”) and David Edgerley Gates (“A Multitude of Sins”). Finally, this issue’s Mystery Classic is “Nebuchadnezzar” by Dorothy L. Sayers. The story was chosen by B. K. Stevens, a life-long admirer of Sayers. Sadly B. K. died before she had a chance to write the introduction, though I know she chose it in part for its humor and because it’s one of the author’s lesser-known stories. Our tales take some unexpected turns, but you can always expect to find great crime fiction here.

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