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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 2014 

In This Issue: 

Tragedy is part of life—but comedy can be murder. This month’s issue is bookended by Harriet Rzetelny’s “Tag Line” and Joseph Goodrich’s “Red Alert,” both set in the high-intensity world of television sketch comedy. In their different ways, both suggest that working relationships can be fraught—and sometimes deadly.

Also on the job, Eric Rutter’s police sniper finds that certain personal interests can undermine his focus in “The Shot.” P.I. Jack O’Shea, the “deception specialist,” returns to our pages in John Shepphird’s “Of Dogs and Deceit” to unpack a con he’s familiar with—sort of. And “The Bride Wore Blood” by Elaine Viets, an expert on job-related mayhem, reveals the challenges a cruise ship’s crew faces when a volatile bride and groom destroy their suite on their wedding night. Meanwhile, another young bridelife is upended on her honeymoon when her groom is killed in the remote Oregon Caves in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s historical “Crossing the River Styx.”

After reading this month’s stories, you may never look at your coworkers the same way again.

Subscribe today!


The Crime Scene

If you missed B. K. Stevens' Macavity- and Agatha-nominated story "Thea's First Husband" in the June 2012 issue, don't miss it here! 


MYSTERY PLACE BOOKS announces a new DIGITAL ANTHOLOGY:
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.


INTERVIEW SERIES:
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.


BLACK ORCHID NOVELLA AWARD
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.

 
  
Excerpts
Crossing the River Styx

Crossing the River Styx
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Art by Edward Kinsella III

They’d left, all of them. They’d left, taking the light with them. Now Edith huddled in the darkest place she’d ever been in, her face, hands, and shirtwaist soaked with blood. Frank was dead beside her. She’d known that from the moment the shot hit him. Hot blood spurted out of him, coating her, and he made all kinds of groaning sounds.

Someone shouted, “Murder!” and the others ran as if their lives depended on it. Frank’s lantern shattered when he fell, and the darkness—she couldn’t describe the darkness. It felt alive.

This entire place felt alive. It had been Frank’s idea to stop at the Oregon Caves. She wanted to go to San Francisco and he had told her the caves were on the way. But they were off the highway—miles of bad road off the highway—and Frank’s brand new 1926 Chrysler Phaeton barely cleared some of the rocks.

She told him she didn’t care about dirty old caves or “scenic beauty.” She wanted to go to a nice hotel and have a lovely dinner and wear the fancy dresses she had brought. But he reminded her that they had an entire summer to enjoy themselves, so they might as well see what they wanted to see.

Read more


Red Alert

Red Alert
By Joseph Goodrich
Art by Tim Foley

Does the name Hal Daly ring a bell?

Hal Daly. The Krazy King of Komedy. The One-Man-Laugh-Riot. America’s Court Jester. Hal Daly.

Hal Daly was the star of the Siddons’ Flour Comedy Hour, whichran on the DuMont network from 1951 to 1953. Siddons’ Flour was a milling concern that’s long since gone the way of papyrus, Sal Hepatica, and affordable rent in Manhattan. The show was built around Hal’s gift for silly faces, silly voices, and his wild, anarchic spirit. He’d do anything for a laugh—anything—and for a while there, he was the king of the hill. The show was a huge hit. Audiences loved him, and so did the makers of Siddons’ Flour. Hal was on top of the world. He could do no wrong.

Then, in the spring of ’53, Hal was summoned to appear before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

Hal didn’t have a political bone in his body. He wasn’t any kind of radical. He wasn’t any kind of conservative, for that matter. Hal was for Hal, first, last, and always. But HUAC wanted celebrities, and Hal was the biggest thing going at the time.

Read more


Next Month in AHMM: 

Don't miss our December issue filled with mystery and suspense from B. K. Stevens, John C. Boland, Loren D. Estleman, Jay Carey 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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