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Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - September - October 2013Add to Favorites

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In this issue

In anticipation of Halloween, this year’s September/October double issue has several stories that flirt tantalizingly with the paranormal: A woman recalls a secret from her childhood that involves occult rituals and even a few “witches” in “In A Dark Manner” by David Dean; Italian author Maurizio de Giovanni introduces us to a detective with the ability to see and hear crime victims in their final moment of life (“Mummy Darling”); Marilyn Todd spins a tale involving an ethereal presence on the old canals (“The Way It Is”); Tom Tolnay’s protagonist has to decide whether there’s truth or mere mockery in claims of the threatening powers of a cult religion (“Religious Experience”); and there’s a mingling of the fanciful and the real (including historical fact) in a new episode in James Powell’s Ganelon series, which takes Ambrose to Niagara Falls for a theatrical “Tightrope Act.” The lines between life and death, and between the real and the unreal, also thin, in a different way, in Doug Allyn’s story “Borrowed Time,” a prequel to his 2012 Readers Award-winning story “Wood-Smoke Boys,” and in “Real Life, Real Death” by Ed Gorman and Ricky Sprague, which involves a murder on live television. But ghosts—from the supernatural realm or figments of the mind—aren’t the only creatures haunting these pages. In a gritty tale by Jerome Charyn, characters are stalked by a gang inspired by the wild dogs that once roamed the Bronx . . . and in Janice Law’s story “Connected,” we see how cyberspace can create chilling phantoms out of people hundreds of miles away. In a timely tale involving a weapon in the wrong hands, Art Taylor’s unforgettable narrator navigates the ethics of violence and family structure (“Ithaca 37”). And Dana Cameron’s returning covert operative (previously seen in “One Soul at a Time”) shows us a similar type of weapon from another point of view (“Dialing In”). Workplaces figure significantly in stories by first-time author O.A. Tynan, who explores a double-edged office jealousy (“A Case of Harassment”), and in “Collector’s Find” by V.S. Kemanis, in which a dubious lawyer’s newest venture comes under federal scrutiny. “What We Do” by Mick Herron (starring his series character Zoë Boehm) takes place in a psychiatrist’s office—but who is being analyzed by whom?; and a police interrogation room provides the crucial venue in Brendan DuBois’s clever and dialogue-driven “Breaking the Box.” The issue is rounded out by a tale that includes a puzzling element Ellery Queen himself was famous for: a “dying message” (see “The Parson’s Nose” by Jon L. Breen) and by a poem by Kevin Mims (“Cereal Killer”). There’s magic here—don’t miss it!

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