Welcome to my summary of fantastic short stories that appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine during 2013. There were so many great stories and so little time, but I made the time to read each and every one. Here is my list of favorites:
January/February Double Issue: Dana Cameron's short story "Finals" was an excellent way to start of the new year. It was a fun mystery with a touch of the paranormal. Other stories I enjoyed in this issue included: "Small-Town Life" by Brendan DuBois, "White Lotus" by Michael Mallory, and "Reconciliation" by K.J. Egan.
March: My favorite for this month was a tie between "Festered Wounds" by Nancy Pauline Simpson and "The Marriage Swindler" by O'Neil De Noux. Both were great stories. I do hope to see Simpson's characters Miss Haseltine Polk and Deputy Jervis Stickley return in the future. Other stories I enjoyed included: "The Antiquary's Wife" by William Burton McCormick and "Downsized" by Doug Allyn.
April: "The Jolly Fat Man" by Cathy Dilts was a lot of fun to read. This was her first published short story! I really liked the main character, Dr. Charles Jerome Harrison, and hope he appears in another short story some day. Another short story that I couldn't put down in this issue was Phillip DePoy's "The Dead Man's Daughter." The spooky setting was great. Also, I enjoyed "Shanks' Ride" by Robert Lopresti; Shanks is one of my favorite characters.
May: I absolutely adored Terry Black's short story, "Satan's Shoe-Tops." It is told from a child's perspective and is very entertaining to read. Additionally, I enjoyed "The Bald and the Beautiful" by John Morgan Wilson and "The First Tale of Roxanne" by Angela Zeman.
June: My favorite story this month was "The Memory Train" by Wayne J. Gardiner. Other stories I enjoyed included: "Jumbie Tea" by Tom Savage and "Hitting the Brakes" by Gina Paoli.
July/August Double Issue: I had two favorite stories for this issue: "Murder Will Speak" by B. K. Stevens and "In the Land of Make-Believe" by Robert S. Levinson. Both stories were a lot of fun to read. Also, be sure to check out the Black Orchid Novella Award winner, "The Red Envelope" by Robert Lopresti.
September: One of my favorite characters, Detective Lieutenant Cyrus Auburn, was back this month in John H. Dirckx's short story, "Departmental Issue." I also enjoyed Janice Law's, "A Political Issue," with medium Madame Selina and her assistant, Nip. Additionally, readers should check out "Hangover at Sunrise" by C. B. Forrest.
October: This month "The Gypsy Ring" by James L. Ross caught my attention. I also enjoyed reading "Dress Blues" by Chris Muessig and "Two Men, One Gun" by Robert Lopresti.
November: This was a fantastic issue, and it's difficult to pick a favorite. However, Elaine Menge's story, "Soul Thief," had me hooked. I also enjoyed the quick pace of "In Plain Sight" by Diana Deverall; the story takes place in the Amish community of Pinecraft, FL. Meanwhile, Martin Limón takes the reader to Korea in his story, "The Queen of Yongju-Gol."
December: This issue contained my favorite story for the entire year: "The Aldrich House" by Alan Gordon. This horror story was full of suspense; I couldn't put it down. I also enjoyed the return of Madame Selina and Nip in Janice Law's story, "The Psychic Investigator" and Kathy Lynn Emerson's historical short story, "A Wondrous Violent Motion."