Friday, March 28, 2008

"Cookies" by Molly MacRae and Stephen Johnston

From: Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, June 2008.

Co-written by the current vice president and president of The Short Mystery Fiction Society, this story opens with Sam, an FBI computer tech, lamenting his wife Claire's suicide. In her suicide note, Claire alleged that Sam no longer loved her, that he was having an affair with Delia, a handwriting expert working out of the same headquarters as Sam. Within weeks of Claire's death, Delia's husband Carmichael also commits suicide.

For his part, Sam says he just fixed Delia's computer, that had lunch a few times, but nothing beyond that until after Claire's and Carmichael's deaths. Sam's tone made me wonder for much of the story whether he was really innocent. Readers may see one twist coming, but MacRae and Johnston play it up for added suspense.

A good mix of high technology and old-fashioned seduction.

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