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Welcome to Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine! Each month our magazine is packed with original mystery short stories varying from short-shorts to novellas. You will find every type of mystery fiction from classic whodunits to hardboiled tales to suspense, and everything in between! Each issue is packed with the best mystery has to offer. Plus you'll enjoy author interviews, writing contests, and our "Mystery Classic" — an outstanding tale from the genre's past. For a taste of what's inside AHMM, one of the world's leading mystery magazines, check out the story excerpts, book reviews, and mystery puzzle right here on this site, or listen to a podcast of a few of our stories. Don't miss out — Subscribe today!
AHMM October 2015 

In This Issue: 

Reviewing our annual index (pages 108–109) puts 2015 in perspective. We published 79 short stories that represented all subgenres of mystery fiction and ranged in tone from humorous to ironic to tragic. Our authors came from the four corners of the earth with stories just as far-ranging in their settings. Which is not surprising: Crime is part of the human condition, and crime fiction captures the universal struggle of human beings under extraordinary conditions.

Many of the stories in our December issue also take a retrospective turn. Long submerged memories surface for a retiree in Theresa E. Lehr’s cover story “Lake People.” Turn-of-the-century bounty hunter Placido Geist discovers the last surviving participant in a botched bank robbery ten years on in “The Sleep of Death” by David Edgerley Gates. Suspicious coincidences put a teen in the CIA’s scope for fifty years in “Larry’s Story” by David Braly. And Marianne Wilski Strong sets her tale “Warsaw” in the heady days before the fall of the Soviet Union. More contemporary issues surface in Catherine Dilts’s “Industrial Gray” and Neil Schofield’s “The Purslow Particle,” both of which touch upon work-a-day maladies.

In this issue we offer up great stories now, just as we’ve been doing since AHMM first came on the scene in 1956—and there’s plenty more great fiction to come in the future!

Subscribe today!

The Crime Scene

Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine Presents: 13 Tales of New American Gothic. Get your copy today!

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine BLOG

Join the conversation . . . at  Trace Evidence, where Linda Landrigan and guests blog about mysteries, short stories, and the craft of writing. 

AHMM Podcasts 
We are now hosting the very best of crime fiction podcasts! Visit our Podcast page to hear great mystery stories from our pages, complete with exclusive author interviews and fun tidbits.

Bestselling author Lawrence Block is no stranger to the pages of AHMM and EQMM. His story “Looking for David” (EQMM, 2/98) was nominated for an Edgar award, and he took second place in the 1985 EQMM Readers Award poll for “Like a Bug on a Windshield.” His story “Keller in Dallas” (EQMM, 2/11), featuring series hit man John Keller, can be found in the e-anthology The Crooked Road: Ellery Queen Presents Stories of Grifters, Gangsters, Hit Men, and Other Career CrooksHere is Lawrence Block talking about New York City, Keller's home base, for the NPR series Crime in the City.

The first book in former MWA-NY President Chris Grabenstein's John Ceepak series won the Anthony Award for Best First Mystery. The series now contains eight books, the most recent of which is Free Fall. He's also published a Ceepak short story, "Ring Toss," which appeared in the June 2010 issue of AHMM. Last year he talked with NPR about the series' setting, a New Jersey shore town called Sea Haven. 

The digital version of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine is now available from AmazonBarnes & Noble, Apple iPadMagzter, Google Play and Kobo.

AHMM and The Wolfe Pack, the official Nero Wolfe appreciation society, team up each year to sponsor an annual writing contest that seeks to honor an unpublished work of fiction written in the tradition of the Nero Wolfe mystery stories by Rex Stout. Rex Stout was a master of the novella form and published dozens of novellas featuring the corpulent and irascible detective Nero Wolfe and his sidekick Archie Goodwin. Today, the novella is uncommon, though AHMM has a long tradition of publishing novellas. More information on the contest, including submission guidelines, can be found here.

Lake People

Lake People
by Theresa E. Lehr
Art by Tom Pokinko

In the beginning, the sold sign on the lot next to Fred Knight’s lake house didn’t bother him much. Four previous owners, including himself way back when, had attempted to build on the land, but the steep grade only produced construction nightmares. Fred had witnessed an old Airstream trailer, a couple of ramshackle cabins, and an abandoned Bluebird bus serve as hopeful stand-ins for the dream home. But eventually, each owner saw the folly of pile-driving a fortune into a weekend home’s foundation and tossed the lot back on the market. For the last decade, the three-and-a-half–acre plot situated on the isolated, backwash end of the lake had remained uninhabited. The deep fissure that ran down its center caused small rock landsides. Texas Hill country flash floods eroded the land further.

But when Fred woke to the sound of a yellow Cat front-end loader scraping its way deep into limestone, needles of anxiety stippled through him. They were too close. Too close to the underground cistern next door.

After microwaving a cup of two-day-old coffee, he grabbed a bag of chocolate-covered donuts and scrambled onto his screened, wraparound porch. The picnic table where he slurped and chewed his breakfast leaned the same direction his entire clapboard house did—toward the lake. Built in the fifties and last painted sometime in the eighties, the rust red structure sat on twelve-foot stilts that afforded Fred a pleasant view. But this morning, the bone-jarring racket kept his mind fixed on the lot adjoining his.

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The Truth of What You've Become

The Sleep of Death
By David Edgerley Gates
Art by Andrew Wright

The wind was feral, tugging at the corners of the abandoned line shack, rooting around the foundations like a badger or a bear, peeling the brittle shakes off the roof with a squeal as the cut nails tore loose, and driving rain came through the gaps in the planks. Better than being fully exposed to the raw weather, but there was little chance of his getting any sleep. He shrugged off his bedroll and went out to check on the claybank mare. The lean-to on the north side of the cabin didn’t afford the horse much shelter, and she was restless, stamping in the hobbles and tossing her head, pulling at the halter. The crack of lightning spooked her more, the whites of her eyes showing blue in the darkness, and a tree limb shook loose and fell, skidding off the shingles. It hit the ground with a heavy thump, the wet leaves thrashing. The skittish mare jumped sideways and almost knocked him off his feet. He tossed his poncho over her face, covering her eyes, and spoke to her as gently as he could, his head close to hers, trying to be heard over the noise of the wind.

She seemed to settle down a little, maybe because of his voice, or the familiar Spanish, or maybe the storm was beginning to blow over. The old bounty hunter felt his age more often these days. Fifty-odd years in the saddle, and he’d put as many men in the ground, so he rather he didn’t die in a foolish accident, crippled by a nervous horse. He kept talking, as much to comfort himself as the animal. The thunderclouds seemed to be lifting, and a patchy dawn was leaking in. The horse stopped shuddering, and pushed her damp muzzle against his palm.

Read more

Next Month in AHMM: 

Coming in January 2016 more great mysteries and more!

In Every Issue

A Mysterious Photograph contest — Submit your 250-word story inspired by an imagination-stirring photograph. The winning story is published in a future issue.

An intriguing, and challenging, mystery-themed puzzle.

Booked and Printed — Book reviews of interest to mystery readers.

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