Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (November 2008)

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.

22 comments:

Josh said...

i need to get to reading as my list of books is getting longer. Are there any must read Pulp stories that you would recommend?

David Cranmer said...

I would buy The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps for the classics and an issue of Out of the Gutter for some modern pulp. I'm still reading A Hell of a Woman which is an excellent female noir anthology.

Charles Gramlich said...

O' Neil De Noux is a very fine writer in addition to his name. I've known him for years and in fact he and his wife live about 15 minutes from me. You might enjoy some of his La Stanza novels. Two particular good ones are "Blue Orleans," and "Crescent City Kills."

David Cranmer said...

Charles, He also has No. 40 Basin Street in November's AHMM. Talented and productive! I will check out a few of his novels starting with New Orleans Confidential and keep the La Stanza novels in mind. I have been working in the Louisiana area for about 10 months now and I have been soaking up the accents and Cajun culture. So Too Wise really jumped out at me with it's sparkling prose.

August West said...

I had no idea that a John Harvey story was in this issue. I remember read his Resnick novel "Wasted Years" - It knocked the socks off me. This is a reminder for me to pickup another John Harvey novel.

David: Thanks for the tip. A.W.

Barbara Martin said...

I haven't read Ellery Queen for years, and now with your post, it must be time to get back.

David Cranmer said...

A.W., Mr. Harvey is one of the best. His latest story is called "Cold in Hand" and, as far as I know, is the first Resnick novel in ten years.

Barbara, EQMM has been having a good run of late. Excellent time to renew the subscription.

Ray said...

1. I didn't know that the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine still existed. I used to read his books way way back in time.

2. John Harvey - was one of the Piccadilly Cowboys. Wrote even numbers of Herne The Hunter and, as John B Harvey, the Hart The Regulator books.
By coincidence John B Harvey and I were born in the same year just a couple of miles away from me - and both turned our hands to writing westerns.

David Cranmer said...

Ray, EQMM seems to be at a highpoint with the quality of stories being submitted... Thanks for the info on Mr. Harvey. Wikipedia states he has published more than 90 books under various names. I'm mostly familiar with the Resnick novels and so I'll make a note of these others you mentioned.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

David,

I agree that the November issue of EQMM is terrific. I enjoy every issue.

The good news is: I just got my December issue and there is one more story by Ed Hoch. It is a Rand story and it is the last original story that Ed finished for EQMM. They decided they wanted to close the year with it.

I agree with you. Not having Ed's stories in EQMM will take some getting used to.

Terrie

David Cranmer said...

Terrie, I am glad we have one more Ed story. I'm hoping the powers that be will take all the characters he created and publish them in hardcover editions. I would love to have the complete works of Dr. Sam Hawthorne and Velvet and Rand etc.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

David,

I do hope that someone is working on that. Volumes of Ed Hoch. Terrific idea.

Terrie

Ray said...

After a check at our local W H Smith I discovered that Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine is not available in UK.
Another faller by the wayside as I recall the Sci-Fi, mystery and short story mags like Argosy.
The constant claim by retailers is that 'there is no call' for them. So, I'm calling for them, I respond but I'm just met with a weak smile that ends the conversation.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I had an incredibly hard time finding it here, too. I think you may need to subscribe to count on having it.

David Cranmer said...

Ray, They say there is no call for them but I'd bet before you brought it to their attention they never heard of the publication.

Patti, I never have a problem finding EQMM or AHMM in Barnes and Noble or Books-A-Million but if I ever settle in one place I will get a subscription.

Barrie said...

And Friday's Forgotten Books was mentioned? How very cool!

ARCHAVIST said...

I get Ellery Queen along with Alfred Hitchcock every month from Borders. They stock a lot of US imports.

ARCHAVIST said...

RAY - Borders stock these magazines here in the UK. WH Smith is a shallow version of the company it once was. Check if you've a Borders near you.

Scott Parker said...

If y'all don't mind reading on an electronic device like a Palm Pilot, Fictionwise.com offers all four major story mags (EQMM, AHMM, Asimov's, and Analog) in ebook editions.

David Cranmer said...

Thanks Scott, great idea. I'll probably always be a collector of the print edition but this is great for those who can't easily get a copy in their area.

O'Neil De Noux said...

David Cranmer,

Glad you liked 'Too Wise'. Thanks for the nice comments. Hope you like NEW ORLEANS CONFIDENTIAL.

David Cranmer said...

O'Neil De Noux, The pleasure's all mine! Thank you for taking the time to drop me a comment. I'm looking forward to reading the NO Confidential... I know I'll enjoy it.