23 October 2011

Friends and Family

black orchid Five weeks ago, SleuthSayers launched from a core of five committed (in multiple senses of the word) writers to a greater family of fourteen. Coordinating fourteen members might seem a difficult task, but my colleagues are patient with me and their fun, enthusiasm, helpfulness, and professionalism worked miracles.

I list fun first because humor flourished early and easily. For example, Neil's ironic wit and the gentle humor of Jan and Fran melded like ivy in the brickwork of our joint project. I knew Dixon and RT were tough, cigar-chompin', kick-ass guys, but who guessed how riotously funny they are? A writer could do worse modeling characterizations after the criminally sane among us.

But there's more. Behind the scenes, SleuthSayers family members exchange crime notes, music CDs, tobacco tips, and successes. More about this last item in a moment.

Friends in Sly Places

We also depend upon friends such as Jon Breen, Bill Crider, and Women of Mystery, but especially our editors, Janet Hutchings of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Linda Landrigan of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Andrew Gulli at The Strand, and Darlene Poier from Pages of Stories.

Buying your favorite magazines pumps lifeblood into the imagination incubators of our genre. If you're not familiar with Pages of Stories, it's an eMagazine available in eBook format (Nook, Kindle, iPad, etc), PDF, and on-line, where you'll find works by Fran Rizer, John Floyd, and me, to name a few. If you want to taste a classic approach, Steve Steinbock has mentioned Arthur Vidro's Old-Time Detection and Geoff Bradley's Crime and Detective Stories, affectionately called CADS in its British homeland.Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, December 2011

Readers Choice Award

Speaking of magazines, if your December issue of Ellery Queen hasn't arrived, rush to your local bookstore to grab a copy now! It contains the ballot (last page) and list (page 83) of stories eligible for the EQMM Readers Choice Award. Listed is English by Leigh Lundin (that's me!), the parable James Lincoln Warren wrote about. Also featured is Elizabeth Zelvin's lauded Navidad. You'll find Neil Schofield's Detour and our friend David Dean listed. You'll notice other names like Doug Allyn and William Dylan Powell. I can't speak for the others, but if you comment with your eMail address, Elizabeth and I will make our stories available to readers upon request.

Wolfe Pack Black Orchid Banquet

The Wolfe Pack, an organization devoted to mystery writer Rex Stout and his most famous creation Archie Goodwin, er, Nero Wolfe, will hold its 34th annual Black Orchid Banquet Weekend December 2-4. Held at the Vanderbilt Suites in New York City, the Black Orchid Banquet will feature television personality and mystery writer Al Roker, introduced by novelist and past Nero Award-winner Linda Fairstein.

The bacchanalia features presentation of the Nero Award for the year’s best mystery novel and the Black Orchid Novella Award for best unpublished mystery novella, presented in conjunction with AHMM. The winning BONA story will be published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.
Black Orchid Perfume
Black Orchid Perfume– a beautiful excuse for a noir dame
Rumors and Rumours

After only a month on-line, one of our colleagues credits SleuthSayers with a major professional offer. Details are sketchy, but to the envy of Entertainment Tonight and People Magazine, we're promised a scoop if a major deal is inked.

Mark your calendar for a special guest article. On 4 December, we expect to feature a, ahem, wolfish announcement.

Next week, Louis Willis returns with a fascinating family story about bootlegging.


  1. Unable to post this the first three times this AM, I'll try one more time. What I appreciate most about SleuthSayers is having the opportunity to meet great people who also happen to be writers.

  2. Your article has me perched on the edge of my seat with excitement, Leigh. Hope I don't lose my balance & tumble off before Dec. 4th!

    Oh, wait. My wife came in and made me get down. :-(

  3. Always the gentleman...thanks for the plug, Leigh, and best of luck with "English"; which, dear readers of "SleuthSayers", you should get thee hence and read!

  4. With all the excellent stories in EQMM by friends, associates and fellow bloggers, this will be a tough vote. I've got to quit loaning out my old copies of EQMM to other mystery readers.
    Leigh, if you would please e-mail attach "English."
    Liz, as per our previous e-mail discussion, I still remember "Navidad" quite well .
    Neil, if you have "Detour" available to refresh my memory, I would appreciate it. Quick side note: After looking at the year end index in AHMM, I see we both had stories in the March 2011 issue. Re-read and enjoyed "Catchphrase."
    ~R.T. RA17748251@aol.com

  5. I finished “Untenable” in the Fall issue of “Pages of Stories” and really loved the ending.

    I have all the issues of EQMM for 2011. I now have the pleasant burden of deciding who will be first, second, and third on my ballet.

  6. Sorry to have been off line so much of late -- this month has been a challenge. We were in Tortola for one week for my brother's wedding, followed by a short week in Denver where I teach an annual course, followed by another short week in Nags Head with my wife's family, followed next by a trip to the midwest - where we will be when my Tuesday article goes up. Virtually no internet at most of those locales!

    I offered up an alternative title to Leigh's story back on Criminal Briefs and will do so again here -- "Spare." Good luck to all!

  7. Thanks Janice, Dixon, and Louis.

    Yikes! RT, thanks for pointing out Neil's story 'Detour'. I've corrected the article to reflect that!

    Welcome back from Tortola, Dale!

    David, you're welcome. We do enjoy your writing.

    Fran, you're right– It's like a favorite coffee shop populated by writers.

  8. Good wishes to our SleuthSayers writers and readers who have stories in the running for EQMM and AHMM awards.

  9. Sincere congrats to all the contenders for the EQ award. Leigh, keep us posted!

  10. Yeah, congrats and keep us posted!


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