Tuesday, September 12, 2017

e-Golem by SJ Rozan

Okay, so SJ is known to all mystery readers and has won every prize for mystery writing available except, ironically, The Rozan*. But this story is really good. I mean it takes place in a used bookstore - what more dangerous setting for a writer can there be? Every cliche is primed and ready for use. See also: writers writing about writer's block.There is also the Book of Ancient Wisdom trope.

So you might start to wonder if the story is merely a pile of dusty cliches. It's not... Unless you think a pile of dust is always a pile of dust. And to think that, you'd need to forget your Genesis story... The Bible one, not the Star Trek one.

The story starts with the dust of the bookstore and ends with the dust of the bookstore. What happens in between, well, let's just say you'll like it.

Find it in the current Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

* She was a lock for it earlier this year when I made it up, but she missed a filing deadline. Ah well, there's always next year...

Friday, September 01, 2017

"Come Back Paddy Reilly" by Con Lehane

You read Con Lehane novels for the poetry of language and for the completely human characters. You read this short story in the current Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine for the same reasons.

Paddy Reilly is a Bronx-Irish cop working undercover when he comes into contact with Nancy, a woman who used to be a girl he knew way back when. As in other Lehane stories, when two people collide, a heart has to break somewhere. The fact that it's a "Black Mask" entry for EQMM should also tell you something about how this one will play out.

As a writer, I'm in awe of Con's ability to quickly draw a character who appears to be every bit human.

If you're looking for longer form work from Lehane, try his "Murder at the 42nd Street Library."