It's been another great year of short stories in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. To make it even better this was the 70 year anniversary. As with last year, I kept a list of my favorite stories in each issue so that I can make my selections for the 2011 EQMM Readers Award. There's still time to get your ballot in if you haven't already done so. Ballots must be postmarked no later than December 2, 2011, so get yours in the mail today!
Here's the list of my favorite short stories for 2011:
January: "The Tall Blonde with the Hot Boiler" by Harley Mazuk, which was the Black Mask feature this month.
Runners-up: "Where the Snow Lay Dinted" by Sue Pike, "Mr. Bo" by Lisa Cody, and "The Advent Reunion" by Andrew Klavan. Also, I enjoyed "The Wood Thief" by Swedish journalist Liza Marklund in the Passport to Crime section.
February: "Beer Money" by Shane Nelson
Runners-up: "Dear Murderer" by Susan Breen, "Seeing Red" by Amy Myers, and "A Study in Scarlatti" by Donald A. Yates. I, also, enjoyed this month's Passport to Crime selection: "Signed "Mutual Trust"" by Richard Macker which was originally printed in Norwegian in 1975.
March/April: My favorite story this month is one of Edward D. Hoch's best stories, "The Long Way Down." I would highly recommend reading it.
Second place: "The Last Days of the Hols" by Robert Barnard.
Runners-up: "The Mentor" by Dave Zeltserman, "Vanishing Act" by Christine Poulson, "Cheating the Hangman" by Judith Cutler, "Tap-Tap" by David Dean, "Icarus" by C. J. Harper, "Lie Like a Rug" by Margaret Maron, and "Half-Lives" by Tim L. Williams.
May: Scott Loring Sanders' "Jim Limey's Confession" was an excellent read.
Second place: "Dolly's Trash and Treasures" by Lawrence Block
Runners-up: "Turning Leo" by Clark Howard and the Passport to Crime feature: "The Wait" by Sunny Singh.
June: My favorite for this month was "A Game of Patience" by Caroline Benton.
Second: "The Killing of Stacey Janes" by Robert S. Levinson
I also enjoyed "The Appointment" by Maynard Allington and "The Chatelaine Bag" by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini
July: "The New Slavery" by Robert Barnard. I think many grandparents and caregivers will be able to relate to this story.
Runners-up: "Tomorrow's Dead" by David Dean and "Mr. Monk and the Sunday Paper" by Lee Goldberg
August: My favorite story for this month was "Praying Mantis" by David Dean.
Runners-up: "Murder of a Muffin Man" by Amy Myers, "Something Rather Fishy" by Marilyn Todd, and "Some People Deserve to Die" by Dave Zeltserman.
September/October: This month was a tie for my favorite short story: "Man Cave" by Bill Pronzini and "Hangman's Rhapsody" by Clark Howard.
Runners-up: "The Children" by Lia Matera, "Witness Protection" by Brendan DuBois, "Hedge Hog" by Hilary Davidson, and "A Hostage Situation" by Dave Zeltserman, which featured a seasonal Halloween twist ending.
November: "Beach Girl" by P.N. Elrod was excellent!
Runners-up: "The Intell Club" by Richard Macker in the Passport to Crime Department was a great story. Also, I enjoyed "The Tardy Guest" by Brendan DuBois.
The reprint of "The Adventure of the One-Penny Black" by Ellery Queen was fun too.
December: My favorite story for this month was "The Investigation of Boyfriend #17" by Maureen Keenan-Mason.
The haunting short story, "In Waiting," by A.N. Roland was a close second.
With so many great stories it was difficult to choose the one I liked the best, but there was one standout. My favorite story for this year was "Beach Girl" by P.N. Elrod. My second choice is "Jim Limey's Confession" by Scott Loring Sanders.
May the best story win!