Every year I keep a running list of my favorite stories. In case you were wondering, I really do read every single one. The short stories featured in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine are perfect for when you have a little free time and you need to de-stress your life. Check out these excellent stories.
January: This issue focused on holiday stories which is always a treat. I look forward to reading it every year. My favorite was Doug Allyn's "The Snow Angel." This story drew me in from the first sentence. What a great way to start off the year. Next, I enjoyed "Heaven Knows" by Marilyn Todd featuring a deceased private investigator sent back to Earth to solve a crime. Very clever. More fun stories to read include "Some Flames Never Die" by Percy Spurlark Parker and "Murder and the Spiderbrusher" by Amy Myers.
February: This issue included not one, but two Sherlock Holmes pastiches by Terence Faherty. Additionally, I was pleased to see the return of a favorite character in "Skyler Hobbs and the Smarter Brother" by Evan Lewis. I also enjoyed "Lily's Beef" by Shannon Schuren and "Admit One" by Loren D. Estleman.
March/April Double Issue: My favorite short story for this issue was "Fruit of All Evil" by Marilyn Todd. Other stories I enjoyed included: "Glory of the Worms and Snakes" by Perri O'Shaughnessy and the Passport to Crime feature by Jutta Motz, "The Russian Woman."
May: The last story in this issue, "Teddy" by Brian Tobin, was definitely my favorite. It's one that I'll read again and again. Be sure to check it out. I also enjoyed "My Mom, the Movies, and Me" by Robert S. Levinson and "A Question of Fathers" by Michael Z. Lewin. I've greatly enjoyed reading Lewin's "alien" mysteries, and I was sad to read that this may possibly be the last one. Please say it isn't so.
June: The story I enjoyed the most in this issue was Liza Cody's "A Hand." I hope there are more stories to come featuring the character Shareen Manasseh. Also, I enjoyed "The Accessory" by Robert Lopresti and "Julius Accused" by Dave Zeltserman.
July: This issue featured so many great stories, but be sure to check out "The Very Old Man" by Jenny Milchman. The story features an insecure first time mom with an active imagination. Another story to check out is "Second Sight Unseen" by Richard Helms. I always enjoy stories featuring psychics. Other stories I appreciated this month: "In Her Fashion" by Frankie Y. Bailey, "Pancras Sullivan" by Peter Turnbull, and "It Couldn't Be Done?" by Bill Pronzini.
August: My favorite story in this issue was also the last story. Belinda Bauer's "Two For the Price of One" is short and fantastic. David Dean is one of my favorite short story writers, and he has impressed me again with "Neighbor." I also enjoyed "Cold Island" by Brendan DuBois and "Murder and the Golden Slipper" by Amy Meyers.
September/October Double issue: It was too difficult to pick a favorite this month, so here are the stories I enjoyed the most: "Jaguar" by Joseph Wallace, "Blood Red Roses" by Marilyn Todd, "The Hobby Cop" by Doug Allyn, "The Very Best Neighbor" by Brendan DuBois, "The E-mail Always Pings Twice" by Greg Herren, and Carl Robinette's first story, "The Hard Type."
November: My top three picks for this month were Joan Richter's story "The Golden Peacock," "Deep Shaft" by Suzanne Arruda, and "The Lure of the Green Door" by Norizuke Rintaro.
December: Joyce Carol Oates' short story, "Equatorial," was dark and sinister. It was a great story to start this issue. Also, be sure to check out "The Tavern-Keeper's Daughter" by Miriam Grace Monfredo.