Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine: A Year in Review 2012

While I enjoy reading books, there's something to be said about a well-written short story. A short story that leaves you breathless is like a work of art, and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine offers some of the very best. Indeed, 2012 was a fantastic year for short stories. Here's a summary of stories that I enjoyed the most:

January/February: My favorite short story featured in this double issue was "Old Cedar" by D. A. McGuire. This story fascinated me, and I learned about disappointment rooms.

Second Place: "No Uncertain Terms" by C. J. Harper. 

Runners-up: "Pandora's Box" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch,  "Calculus for Blondes" by John H. Dirckx, "The Penthouse View" by Joseph S. Walker, and "Last Call" by Wayne J. Gardiner.

March: I enjoyed Christopher Welch's short story, "The Art of the Pyramid" featuring art gallery owner Toby Bridgman. I also enjoyed reading "Sheltered Assets" by Doug Levin, "Property Lines" by Mario Milosevic, and "A Family Trade" by Brendan DuBois.

April: This month featured one of my favorite short story writers, Stephen Ross. His story, "Pueri Alleynienses," is my favorite for this month; I loved the ending.

Other stories I enjoyed in this issue included: "All Prayers Are Answered" by Eric Rutter and "Caretaker" by Brendan DuBois. It was a great issue.

May: I really enjoyed fashion consultant Shauna Washington's first publication, "Fashioned for Murder." I'd like to read more stories featuring Stacey Deshay.

This month I also enjoyed: "Carry-On" by Wayne J. Gardiner, "Shanks Commences" by Robert Lopresti, "Wind Power" by Eve Fisher, and "Mr. Crockett and the Bear" by Evan Lewis.

June: My two favorite stories for this issue were: "Thea's First Husband" by B. K. Stevens and "Last Supper" by Jane K. Cleland.

July/August: My favorite story in this double issue was "Death on the Range" by Elaine Menge. I also enjoyed "Ghost Negligence" by John Shepphird and the Black Orchid Novella Award winner "Inner Fire" by Jolie McLarren Swann (a.k.a. James Lincoln Warren).

September: This month's top pick was Dee Long's short story "Fool's Gold." I also enjoyed the Mystery Classic "Night at the Inn" by Georgette Heyer; I'll have to check out more of her short story mysteries in the future.

October: I really enjoyed reading "Frank" by Steve Hockensmith; it was a very clever story. I also enjoyed "Mad Dog" by Jas. R. Petrin.

November: My favorite this month was "Strangle Vine" by Shelley Costa. Also, one of my favorite characters was back this month; Cyrus Auburn solved another mystery in "Window of Time" by John H. Dirckx. I enjoyed Steven Gore's short story, "Defender of Justice," too.

December: Every story included in this issue was a hit with me. It's so difficult to choose a favorite, but "Jake Says Hello" by Terrie Farley Moran is one that I'd like to read again.

2012 was a great year for short stories; it's so difficult to pick a favorite. I enjoyed the return of some of my favorite characters like Cyrus Auburn, Spade and Paladin. However, it was also a pleasure to read the first stories of several new writers as well. I'm looking forward to 2013; I hope it is filled with just as many wonderful stories as this year!

P.S. In case you were wondering, of all the great stories that appeared in AHMM this year, my very favorite  was "Frank" by Steve Hockensmith!


Todd Mason said...

Good work! I have read only a few of the stories from the issues I've picked up this year, but that's a matter of time and exhaustion rather than someone who's been reading AHMM fairly often since 1977 (1/78 was the first issue I picked up new off the newsstands), glad to see attention being paid to the you read ELLERY QUEEN or THE STRAND or the other crime-fiction magazines?

Nana A.Herron said...

Thanks Todd! Yes, I do read Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine as well. I started reading both about 5 years ago; I really enjoy the stories.

Robert Lopresti said...

Just came upon this (and oddly enough I was looking up Shauna Washington, not me). Thanks for the mention!