Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - January 2015Add to Favorites

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In this issue

This year’s holiday issue radiates some merriment and a bit of magic, but lots of winter’s chill as well. Tales transpire over the bar top in the WWII Christmas story “Last Call” by Lou Manfredo; in “The Bar Story” by Ron Carlson, in which a dark narrative inspires an equally dark reality; and in “Christmas, Etc., Is Coming” by Bill James, a Harpur and Iles procedural set in a socially aspiring gangster’s club. Holiday traditions are different for everyone, as we see in the irreverent “Police Navidad” by Josh Pachter, in which a cop’s holiday beat takes an unusual turn, and in the contemplative “A Letter to Santa” by Ragnar Jónasson, in which a recent widower is left waiting for a knock on the door. A holiday treat of sorts is in play in “God Is Good” by Dennis McFadden, which also features a “witch” and a town bully. In the Department of First Stories, Russell W. Johnson’s protagonist has a few tricks up her sleeve for her magician boyfriend (“Chung Ling Soo’s Greatest Trick”), while in the hitman Sally escapade “Doctor, Doctor,” by William Link, our hero is tasked with an assignment he’d need otherworldly powers to complete—killing a cancer. If you’ve ever had a particularly nasty neighbor, you won’t want to miss Ruth Moose’s short-short “Born Mean” —though what her protagonist does about it isn’t for everyone! Holidays inspire some to want to get away from all the fuss and bother—to someplace warm or someplace tranquil. We’ve got both: Michael Haskins’s “Hemingway’s Typewriter” takes us to the Florida Keys, where “Mad Mick” Murphy tries to help a friend, and Melissa Yi’s darkly comic “Om” is centered around a yoga retreat on an urban yacht. Closing out the issue is Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s nail-bighting adventure of escape and survival, “Christmas Eve at the Exit.” So grab a blanket and greet the season with us—you won’t regret it!

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