I haven't seen too many people blog about it, so I want to touch on the November issue of Ellery Queen. Foremost, it’s noteworthy for containing the last story that Edward Hoch was working on at the time of his death. Handel and Gretel, seamlessly completed by Jon L. Breen, follows the winning team of Stanton and Ives. The couriers find themselves entangled in a murder mystery when hired to transport a George Handel manuscript. Every time I have picked up a new issue of EQMM or an old secondhand copy, I'd flip through to start with the Hoch story (I find the Nick Velvet and Simon Ark yarns are the most enjoyable). Buying another issue of EQMM won’t be the same without the prolific Edward D. Hoch.
John Harvey’s Trouble In Mind opens the issue, pairing up two of his regular characters, Charlie Resnick and Jack Kiley. PI Kiley is searching for an AWOL soldier and enlists the help of Resnick. The story alternates between the soldier who’s kidnapped his family and Resnick and Kiley on the trail. Harvey successfully tackles the topical issue of post traumatic stress disorder without being preachy.
Too Wise, written by O' Neil De Noux (sidebar: what a great name for a writer!), is set in 1940s New Orleans with protagonist Lucien Caye, PI. Caye becomes a suspect when an attractive strawberry blonde is murdered a few hours after he was seen dropping her off at her house. Mr. Noux, a former cop himself and native of the area, brings a great deal of realism to this piece. I will have to check out New Orleans Confidential which has the Caye character.
The magazine’s special sections also offer several great pieces. "Passport To Crime" spotlights Brazil’s talented Rubem Fonseca with a tale that I could imagine from the pen of Lawrence Block. "Black Mask" features Gary Phillips who delivers a compelling entry intriguingly entitled, The Kim Novak Effect. In "Reviews", The Jury Box reminded me I have to pick up Paris Noir and Crimini. All this and Bill Crider does a nice write-up in Blog Bytes on Patti Abbott's Friday’s Forgotten Books.
Other contributors include Janet Dawson, Barbara Nadel, Judith Cutler, Len Moffat, and the gifted Robert Barnard. A great issue -- check it out.