Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine: A Year in Review 2012

So many stories, so little time. Another year has passed, and it's been filled with many great mystery stories from some of my favorite authors including Doug Allyn, Simon Brett, N.J. Cooper, William Link, Tom Piccirilli, and Dave Zeltserman. In order to keep track of the stories I've enjoyed the most, I keep a list throughout the year so that I can make a selection for the EQMM Readers Award.

January: My favorite story for this issue was the very first story of the year: "Sonny Taylor: A Nontraditional Man" by Dan Warthman.

I also enjoyed Lee Goldberg's "Mr. Monk and the Open House" and James Powell's "The Fellowship of the Peach-Stone Ring," which was a fun Christmas story. The Passport to Crime selection, "Marta" by Rubem Fonseca was excellent as well.

February: I had two favorite stories for this month: "Floating Ant" by Brian Muir and "Out There" by Zoe Beck, which was in the Passport to Crime section. Both were excellent stories.

Other stories I enjoyed included: "Phaedra" by Kenneth Mark Hoover, "Sally the Bookworm" by William Link, and "Premeditation" by Victoria Weisfeld.

March/April: This was a double issue! My favorite story was "So Near Any Time Always" by Joyce Carol Oates. "Just Another Saturday Night" by William Link came in as a close second.

Runners-up: "Family Place" by John C. Boland, "Wrecked" by Therese Greenwood, "Rural Legend" by Tom Savage, and "The Parson and the Heiress" by Judith Cutler

May: This month my favorite pick was a tie between "No Flowers" by Martin Edwards and "Marsh Island" by Lina Zeldovich. I also enjoyed reading "The Girl Who Fished With a Worm" by Harry Groome and "A Nice Neighbourhood" by Kate Ellis.

June:  "Mr. Monk and the Talking Car" by Lee Goldberg was a fun read this month. I also enjoyed "One Soul at a Time" by Dana Cameron and "The Ritual of Mr. Tarplee" by Simon Brett.

July: "Cruel Coast" by Scott Mackay was my favorite story in this issue. Other stories that I enjoyed included: "Drowned in a Sea of Dreams" by Donald Olson, "Diagnosis Death" by N.J. Cooper, and Grant O'Neill's first story, "The Malibu Waltz."

August: J.L. Strickland's first story "Amazing Grace, Sorta" was a hit with me. I hope to read more from this author soon. I also enjoyed "Gunpowder Alley" by Bill Pronzini and "The Street Ends at the Cemetery" by Clark Howard.

September/October: The story that stood apart from the rest in this double issue was Jonathan Santlofer's "The Muse." It had just the right blend of mystery and creepiness. Other stories I enjoyed included "The Strange Architecture of Destiny" by  Eliécer Cárdenas in the Passport to Crime section, "Never Enough" by Ralph Ellis. Also, I enjoyed the return of Brynn Bonner's character Session Seabolt in "Final Vinyl."

November: This month's best story was Tom Piccirilli's "The Void It Often Brings With It." Other stories of note include: "The Charles Dickens Mystery" by W. Edward Blain, "Good Intentions" by Michael Z. Lewin, and "The Closet," a first story by Jenny Milchman.

December: "Mariel" by David Dean was my favorite story in this issue. It's definitely one that I'll read again. This month I also enjoyed "Dead Men's Socks" by David Hewson, "Karen Ovenhouse and the Ruin Snooper" by Peter Turnbull, and Stewart Brown's first story, " Dial Country Code 91 + M for Murder."

And so now for my choice of best story of the year..."So Near Any Time Always" by Joyce Carol Oates. This story spoke to me in many ways, and I have thought of it many times throughout the year. Second place goes to "Just Another Saturday Night" by William Link. For third place I had a difficult time deciding between several excellent stories, but in the end my choice is "Mariel" by David Dean. And that wraps it up for another fantastic year. I can't wait to see what's in store for 2013!

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