Wednesday, December 27, 2017

"Stick" by Doug Allyn

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, January-February 2018, p. 17–30

Doug Allyn's latest EQMM story turns on deceptive appearances. Elderly "Stick" Shefer fends off assault by a knife-wielding meth addict, but a security camera records the incident, drawing the attention of inquisitive police detective Chantelle Robinson.

Though Shefer has nothing to fear from his encounter with the meth addict, Chantelle's interest relates to the thirty-year-old unsolved homicide of her mother, Rita. At the time, Shefer was romantically involved with Rita's mother, Velvet Dunbar, and Rita's body was found in his car.

Reluctant as he is out of respect for Velvet, Stick's involvement in the story goes well beyond telling Chantelle what he remembers of the night of the murder. The more Stick is drawn in, the more readers are, until a satisfyingly full picture of that night develops.

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