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In this issue we celebrate both the season and Sherlock Holmes. Against a snowy scene, carolers are a concern in Vicki Weisfeld’s whodunit “A Slaying Song Tonight,” while in Barbara Nadel’s “The Twelve Days of Dunwich” a well-known carol frames the plot. You’ll watch where you do your holiday shopping after reading the clever “Slay Belles” by Marilyn Todd and the sinister “After Closing Time” by Nova Lee Maier (Passport to Crime). And a holiday issue wouldn’t be complete without a wry piece from James Powell (“Ask the Field Mice”). We visit Baker Street with Terence Faherty—with another parody from the manuscripts of Dr. Watson (“The Engineer’s Thumb”)—and Jonathan Turner, who brings a American duo familiar to our pages, the Amlingmeyer brothers, in touch with the Great Detective himself in a tricky Department of First Stories entry (“The Adventure of the Disguised Passenger”). Amy Myers continues the trip to Victorian London with her tale “Tom Wasp and the Disappearing Philosopher,” a new case for her chimney-sweep sleuth. Echoes of Sherlockian crime-solving sound when an eccentric man approaches a P.I. with a strange dilemma in “The Client, the Cat, the Wife, and the Autopsy” by Peter Hochstein. An animal also figures into Brendan DuBois’s “Flowing Waters,” a poignant story about a veteran. A stockingful of weapons features in this month’s stories. See what’s uncovered in a journalist’s purse in “Agony” by Jane Jakeman; see whose is brandished first in the insightful “Glock” by Bill Pippin; and discover which prevails, flames or fists, in Kris Nelscott’s powerful “Blaming the Arsonist.” On top of the more traditional implements of mayhem, a computer wreaks havoc in “Night Terrors” by Owen Leddy, and the trappings of professional photography in “Exposure” by A.J. Wright. This issue also showcases “The Children of Espíritu Santo” by David Dean (Black Mask) and “The Game” by M. Soni (another Department of First Stories entry).

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