Monday, February 12, 2018

"The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie's Place" by Debra H. Goldstein

Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, May-June 2017

The annual Bethesda, Maryland convention Malice Domestic has announced its 2017 nominees for the Agatha Awards, honoring traditional mysteries as typified by the works of Agatha Christie, containing no explicit sex, excessive gore, or gratuitous violence. An April 2018 vote of Malice attendees will determine the winners. In the meantime, as part of the announcement, the Best Short Story nominees are freely available online.

The narrator of Debra H. Goldstein's nominated story was a nine-year-old boy when his mother found "Mr. Johnnie, [a] bigwig at one of the banks and a friend of most of the city's politicians," stabbed to death in a bedroom she was meant to clean. From the boy's innocent perspective, readers infer where his mother worked and why it burned down, an engaging approach.

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